Good Teachers Guide, Bad Teachers Spoil
When poor human resource are employed as teachers, it is the society which bears the cost
School education is one of the pivots of a society. what we teach our children and the way in which we teach them determines the future of a society and a nation. The government invests crores of rupees in school education. Teachers are appointed on the basis of high qualification. Unfortunately, the government can look at only their degrees. the government does not have any system which shall enforce their commitment to their role and which shall ensure their will to work. My diverse experiences in the recent months have reinforced this.
In the late evening on July 7, while checking the posts on WhatsApp a news report grabbed my attention. The news related to an event organized by ‘Kudo Martial Arts Association of Jammu and Kashmir’. The report said that the event was organized and sponsored by Mir Jaffer, the chairman of Rising Institute of Scientific Education, a small private school.
I found it a good move that the government school had hosted an event for the mental health, physical fitness and overall well-being of students. It would have been good if the government school had also taken the initiative to organize the event.
The event was a three days training camp. The organizer had provided free and open registration for all participants some days before the event. For these three days, a group of martial art experts provided basic training to the students. I found it interesting to note that the sponsor had invited the teachers of the government school as the chief guests for the event.
A number of youngsters participated in the training camp. They were from both private and government schools. Looking at the happiness and enthusiasm of the students participating in the activity, it occurred to me – if the owner of a small private school can organize a youth even with so much enthusiasm, why can’t the teachers of a government school collectively organize it?
Value Of Youth Activities
We know that such youth activities are highly important for the holistic development of students. Organizing such events in the schools gives students a stronger bond with their institution. With such activities, the students remain physically, mentally and academically strong and in good health. Participation in peer activities also makes students develop valuable team skills.
I am glad to see that educators in Kashmir are conscious of the significance of such activities and are taking the initiative to organize them. What pains me is the huge gap between government and private schools in coming forward to organize activities for the betterment and holistic development of students.
Govt Teachers: More Pay, Less Enthusiasm For Work
One can observe the huge difference in the enthusiasm level of teachers in government schools and private schools. The teachers of private schools go the extra mile to keep their students updated. On the other hand, the teachers of government schools do not seem to worry if their students remain outdated, and make no attempt to take remedial measures.
Take the case of physical education. Government schools are provided with large grounds. They have teachers who are trained and equipped with a host of degrees. But one does not get to see their visibility on the ground. We have happy exceptions, of course. I admit that there are teachers in government schools who are committed to their jobs and are dedicated to the well-being of students. But most teachers in government schools seem to consider their jobs as a long paid pension.
Rural private schools do not have trained physical education teachers. But it is seen that the teachers of private schools tend to work hard so that their students train well and excel in sports activities. This is why we see that medals and trophies of sports activities are often won by students from private schools.
This is a strange dichotomy that we observe. Private school teachers are mostly enthusiastic and dedicated to work. Many government school teachers seem to lack the will to work. This is despite the fact that the salary of the teachers in private schools is paltry as compared to the salary of government school teachers.
Why Do Govt Schools Have Low Admission?
The schools run by the government have better infrastructure than most private schools. Despite this, the government schools do not register a robust rate of admission. It has been observed that only those people admit their children to government schools who cannot afford private school education.
The most telling indicator of the poor performance of government schools is that even the teachers of government schools do not admit their children to the schools in which they themselves teach.
The reason is that many government teachers go to school only to mark their attendance and while away the time somehow. It is an unfortunate trend that a number of teachers in government schools attend to their pending domestic work at school.
We are aware that there are government teachers who are immensely loved by the students for their dedication to the profession and to the well-being of the children. But sadly, the inefficient government teachers give the entire community a bad name.
Some Govt Teachers Used Children As Free Labour
For about two generations, we have laughed over how women teachers in government schools knit sweaters and do other unimportant activities during their duty hours in the schools. There are many instances when women teachers who have babies or little children would take them to the school with them. Two or three students would then be given the task of holding and carrying the child, as if they were personal babysitters for the teachers.
For the male teachers, we would hear that they would give students the task of buying household stuff for them and delivering it at their place. Over the last few decades, we have heard many instances that the male teachers would take students to their orchards and use them as free labour. These activities have marred the image of government school teachers.
The sad part was that when someone would point out these aberrations to government school teachers, they would react angrily and start justifying them, instead of going in for self-correction.
My Classmate Who Could Barely Pass
In 2006, when I had gone to my old school for some work, I saw the clerk in our school office scolding a man. I recognized that man as my classmate. The clerk was saying to him, “What will you teach the students at your school? You did not even pass Class 11 examination.”
I got to know that my classmate had got his joining order as ReT in Brariangan village. Saleem belongs to the reserved category. He had passed the Class 10 examinations after a number of attempts. His level of proficiency was poor in all subjects. He was usually quiet in the class and had exhibited no quality by which one could adjudge that he shall make a good teacher.
In this way, many people were accommodated under the ReT scheme who had passed Class 10 board exams after appearing a number of times. They were able to secure the job because of their category and reservations.
The government did not conduct any eligibility or entrance test while making appointments as ReTs. The only thing required was the government should open a school and the candidate should have Bachelors in Education degree. Thereafter many scams followed in the opening of these schools and accommodating these men and women as teachers. When inefficient people get appointment, it is the society that bears the cost of poor human resource employed as teachers.
Parents Disappointed by Some Teachers Recruited Under ReT Scheme
The Rehbar-e-Taleem (ReT) scheme was launched in Jammu and Kashmir under the Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) program. The purported aim of the scheme was to open more schools and to educate more and more students.
But in Kashmir, we have seen that more and more schools were opened to accommodate teachers only as ReT Rehbar e Taleem. Zahid Ahmad, the father of a Class 10 student told Kashmir Central, “I admitted my son in a newly-opened Government School under the SSA. Two popular teachers, Mukhtar and Fayaz, were employed in this school. Both teachers were known to be hard-working. When they were in a private school, many students praised their method of teaching. They focused on concept clearance, enhancing the intellectual strength of students and improving their level of learning.
Both these teachers visited my house. They requested me to admit my five-year-old son in the newly-opened government school in our area. I was happy that such efficient teachers will teach my son. I gladly admitted my son there.
For the first three years, Mukhtar Sir worked hard. He would often visit me to provide me the progress report of my son. In some years, his probation period was over and he got regularized. The change in him was sudden and marked. He was not bothered now about discussing the progress made by the children. I started observing his carelessness. My son also noticed the change in him and in the innocent way of a child, my son told me about it. This worried me. I discontinued the education of my son there and admitted him to a private school.”