It is a teacher who is capable of ensuring that this is done effectively and efficiently. A teacher is the cornerstone on which every society is built.
A sustainable society is one which ensures that while satisfying the needs of the present generation, the needs of the future generation are not compromised. To ensure that this is done consciously and convincingly, all members must understand that resources have to be used judiciously and responsibly.
It is a teacher who is capable of ensuring that this is done effectively and efficiently. A teacher is the cornerstone on which every society is built. Unfortunately, today not everyone realises or even appreciates their role. Despite global recognition of the importance of teachers in an evolving environment, in changing the lives of children, and in building sustainable societies, they are often undervalued and less- empowered.
The important question is — how can we as a civilised society offer a platform for teaching and learning to both, teachers and students?
- Ensure that teaching as a profession is treated on par with medicine, engineering, banking, accounting and the rest. Once the social pecking order is organised, then automatically salaries will increase and respect will follow.
- Institute a NES(National Education Service) like the IAS/IPS /IFS and other such examinations, and ensure that the best talent in society competes in the same for selection. Once selected, put them through a rigorous training that ensures that the candidate delivers. (This has been said several times on numerous occasions.)
- Free the teacher from non-academic jobs such as census duty, election duty and so on. Let them concentrate on their real competencies that is academics.
- Yes, governments across the world over have budgetary constraints when it comes to education. But, this is where one needs to enter into a public/private partnership, and all the stakeholders must engage in a dialogue and intensify efforts to provide the society with qualified and motivated teachers, who will add value to the society, community and the child.
- Ensure decent working conditions, a safe and healthy environment, professional autonomy and academic freedom.
- This will ensure that teachers are valued, globally, as they rightly should be. They should be viewed as professionals who contribute to national growth and development and not be treated as ‘semi-skilled technicians’.
Currently our society is going through a value crisis and only what glitters seems to sell. Can we as a people work towards creating awareness that the size of the car is not as important as large heartedness in behaviour. Value inculcation should be given as much importance as learning Mathematics, Physics, or History.
Only a society that values its teachers, nurtures and empowers them as ‘gurus’ or ‘acharyas’, can progress.
Author: Dr. Ranjini Krishnaswamy
This Article was published in the DNA Newspaper (Mumbai Edition) on 15th January 2017. You can read it here.