Teachers are special

English: A special education teacher assists o...

English: A special education teacher assists one of her students. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Teacher’s day, 5th day of September, has always been really special to the Indian people. It highlights the importance of a teacher  in the national context. It is a day that reminds us of the invaluable contributions our beloved teachers have made to our life. Most people today would certainly agree to the fact that wherever they stand today, there has been a major contribution of their teachers in this success. Our history also reflects the immense importance of a teacher in our life. But where do our teachers stand today?

Teaching today in India is not a preferred career path anymore. There are only a handful of people who really want to be teachers. Most of our bright young minds aim to be engineers, scientists, doctors, etc. Lack of quality teachers is one of the prominent reasons why our education system has not been successful. We need to examine the reasons behind this lack of quality teaching in India and provide a real solution to it. Let us have a look.

First of all, the most important fact is that the teaching is not a highly rewarding career(in terms of monetary returns). This means that people come into teaching only because of desperation, when all other doors are closed or due to immense love for teaching.

Secondly, teachers in India don’t command the respect an engineer or a doctor has in the society. This is one of the major factors which is pushing our younger generation from teaching the future of India.

So it is absolutely clear that although we in India aim to improve our education system, we are not focusing on the pillars of this system i.e. our teachers. Teachers are the sculptors of our tomorrow and to have a wonderful tomorrow we need to have amazing teachers. Let us see what we can gain from the teaching systems around the world and how we can imbibe it into our own system.

A look at the education system of Singapore, Finland and Poland (all countries having highly successful education systems) can give us amazing inputs as to how we can achieve our dream of a shining India.

  1. High Salary: Teachers in these countries show immense pride and commitment in their job, and they are adequately paid for fulfilling their duties. This develops a major interest in mind of a student to take up teaching after completing his/her studies.
  2. Social status: These countries pay a special attention to their teachers and due to this the teaching profession is highly respected. The social status of a teacher is equivalent to any successful engineer or a doctor.
  3. Rigorous recruitment process: A special attention is paid to a fact that only those persons are qualified to become teachers who have been in the top 1/3 rd quota of their class while studying. This ensures that only brilliant minds are teaching the upcoming generation whereas in India we usually find that those who don’t land any job usually end up teaching. This is one of the greatest failures of our education system. Furthermore, after being selected for the job the teachers are sent to specialized teacher training centers to hone their teaching skills, a tradition seen rarely in India.
  4. Mentoring: A major stress is given on mentoring newly recruited teachers. When a new teacher is recruited, he/she is assigned a mentor who guides him/her in teaching strategies. This ensures that the teacher is provided proper assistance and guidance to improve his/her teaching skills further, ultimately benefiting the children

These are only some of the features which we can introduce in our own system.  I believe that some of these are already a part of our education curriculum but the execution has not been proper. We need to understand this very clearly that no education system can be better than the quality of its teachers. So the teachers have to be world class if we have to bring up a golden generation buzzing with innovative ideas and thoughts. At last, let us all give our big thank you and respect to our beloved teachers because they are truly special.

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