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By Dr Jyots Bhattacharjee
The teachers are hailed as the builders of the tion, but are they conscious of their tremendous responsibility? Long ago, in his vitriolic essay, “The Decay of learning,” Oscar wild commented, “Every body who is incapable of learning has taken to teaching; that is really what our enthusiasm for education has come to. This remark though hard- hitting and unpalatable, cannot be discarded as absurd. It is very true that bright and brilliant degree – holders rarely opt for the profession of teaching. They want to be Doctors, Engineers, Administrative officers, etc. Yet the teachers in modern times are not as impoverished as they were in earlier times. Perhaps in those days the teaching job was not attractive, because of low salary and low social status attached to it. The UGC Annual 1959-60 noted, “……. The teaching profession usually attracts only two types of university men. One of these consists of young graduates, who have a genuine love of teaching as their vocation. The second consists of large number students of average merit, who fail to get into more lucrative positions and enter teaching profession not as much by choice as by the force of circumstances. The first type is rare and the ranks of the teaching profession tend to be largely filled by the second type.”
That is the story of teaching profession in a nutshell. In earlier times there was some ground for the reluctance to accept a teacher’s job. But after the enhancement of pay scales of school, college and university teachers, they have been drawing a handsome salary and their position has improved a lot. Now a teacher is well-heeled and well-groomed; drives posh cars, sends his children to expensive educatiol Institutions, has multistoried buildings. In short, he has everything that money can buy. Parents chase the famed teachers for private tuition and it is the teacher who calls the shot. One would have thought that such handsome earning would attract brilliant degree – holders to the teaching profession. But it has not happened.
The teachers are supposed to work as assimilators, generators and facilitators of knowledge. Their duty is not confined to teaching in the classrooms, but it goes beyond that. They are also supposed to mould the character of young learners. The aim of education is to establish a teacher-student relationship. In this age the teachers entrusted with the responsibility of making the learning process more stimulating. The powerful relationship between the teacher and learner is central to the teaching process. It is true that knowledge can be acquired through distance learning and new technologies. But for the vast majority of learners the teacher remains an essential catalyst.
It is the responsibility of the teacher to make his student not only educated, but also to make him competent, honest and self-sufficient, so that the country could utilize his services in future. But the quality and excellence in teaching seem to be sadly lacking in our educatiol institutions. There is no involvement of the teachers in the job and the process of teaching is idequate to reach the objective of true education. Classes are not held regularly because of absence of teachers, courses are not covered during stipulated working days. Students think that attending classes is a waste of time and energy due to sub-standard teaching. By dictating out-dated worn out notes the teachers consider their job well-done and feel justified in drawing monthly salary. These teachers fail to do justice to the students creative and innovative skills.
The teachers often indulge in agitatiol programmes to force the authority concerned to fulfill their various demands. They threaten to boycott examition or classes to force the hand of authority. Their demand charters rarely include any clause regarding the welfare of the students. Rising above petty interests, the teachers organization should take their duties seriously and work for the interest of the students. They must help the students in their endeavour to keep pace with the changing world. There is an unfortute gap between the teachers and the students. This lack of communication has created a feeling of mistrust between them, which has done immense harm to the cause of education. The teachers organization can play a very important and constructive role in various fields.
Quality and excellence are very necessary to make the teaching process a success. The teachers should be competent enough to establish a climate of confidence in the profession and a positive attitude to new approaches to education. Therefore, it is essential to impart adequate training to the teachers. At present the teachers don’t appear to be much concerned regarding the welfare of the students. Many of them are not disciplined enough to ensure discipline amongst students. The tiol Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) has made remarkable effort to ensure quality and excellance in teacher education.
For achieving quality in teachers, qualified and experienced educators are necessary. But most of the institutes do not have such educationists, which create some major problems in the teacher-training process. In the absence of qualified educationists, the objective of training teachers can not be attained. There are some other hazards as well. The teachers need favourable environment for institutions. Books and other equipments are necessary, but very few Institutions have well- stocked libraries. In rural areas the situation is worse. Then the trainees do not get the chance of adequate practice training and consequently their training remains incomplete. From such teachers the students do not derive benefit.
The tiol Council of Assessment and Accreditation (AC) has made assessment of the provisions offered by the Institutions for the advancement of quality education. The AC, NCTE collaboration programme for assessment and accreditation of Institutes for teacher education and training make a new era for quality education. This not only brings out issue for quality education, but also focuses on some need and priorities for boosting quality.
Many people remark that a teacher is born, not made. That may be true; but it cannot be denied that a true teacher always learns in order to keep pace with the changing and progressive World. No teacher worth the me can ignore the aspirations of the World. And he has to do everything possible for the benefit of the students. Otherwise he will be merely a harmful hindrance in the path of education. The teacher must have thorough knowledge of his subject. He has to learn twice, once for himself and once for his students. Actually a few years of higher education is not enough to make one a satisfactory teacher, with sufficient knowledge of the subject matter and pedagogy. Therefore, teacher education is essential to bring out capable teachers and make education successful.
The teachers also must be taught the value of humanity; they must be able to mould the minds of the very young pupils, so that they can appreciate beauty and cultivate humility reverence, simplicity, joy and freedom of life. These simple virtues are essential for leading a happy and noble life.
All students have dreams and the teachers have to gauge these dreams correctly and help the pupils to realize those dreams. Incompetent teachers do more harm than good to their students. The teacher should understand that it is a crime to destroy the future of the learners by faulty teaching. Students complain that their poor performance is due to poor teaching. It is a serious charge and so the assessment of teaching is essential.
The tiol Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) recommends that the teacher must have “Commitment to the learners, commitment to the profession, commitment to achieve excellence and commitment to basic human values.” So, to prove his ability the teacher has to be equipped with adequate competence to work effectively in this modern information age. NCTE aims at evaluating the teacher’s performance and it stipulates the preparation of two part appraisal report. Apart from teaching, the evaluation scheme wants greater involvement of teachers in allied activities like participation in semirs, tutorial, field work etc.
The teachers should take extra classes after the school and college qualifying tests to help weaker students. They should be very sincere in their job and very careful in correcting answer scripts. Proper correction is the measure to judge a teacher’s ability and knowledge. Their activities should inculcate the values of tiol integration and secularity. According to the NCTE a teacher’s work in relief operations during tural calamities should also be considered. The evaluation report is also to contain an account of the teacher’s involvement in campus life, students welfare and schemes.
The teachers are to attend semirs, which would help them to get acquainted with current developments in the subjects and improve interaction between faculties. Refresher and orientation course are very necessary for their knowledge and performance.
The responsibility of a teacher is vast, which may not have been recognized yet. The whole hearted involvement of teachers is necessary in the teaching – learning process. They must learn the lessons thoroughly before they teach the students. Their vision must go beyond “chalk and talk.”
A teacher’s profession is different from other professions in respect of pursuit of excellence involved. They must prove themselves academically to stay in the race. The authority concerned should devise ways and means to train the teachers properly, since they happen to be the builders of the tion.