The pay packages of India Shining sectors , Technology, outsourcing, pharmacy, biotechnology are now without doubt, in the Well paid category. The sectors are indeed paying their employees well; though, are they taking good care of them is a different question.
But one sector which is still quite under-payed in India is the Education Sector—Government and private Both.
People with same level of qualification are getting varied pay packages if they somehow choose Education as their profession. ‘Somehow’ is a key word here.
That’s why the country has stopped creating Good teachers of late.
Young people are not opting Education; and are chasing more lucrative pastures.
The situation is not good in elite professional institutions like IITs, IIMs either; with acute shortage of trained faculty, retired faculties are brought back to campuses in one way or the other.
Why there’s a reason for worry:
Teaching sector is a field which demands brilliance more that the other sectors, for one simple reason, irrespective of which standard or of what mental acumen a child is, “Will any parent want his/her ward to be taught nothing but the best?”.
The worry accentuates, as, no matter how much qualified parents are, in a sense that they can teach their child at home; since six hour schooling is a must for any child to develop worldly and peer skills; no parent can be the teacher for their children; in context of conventional education. Add to this the work demands of parents, teaching a child part time is also very difficult.
This brings us to square one: Nothing but a competent teach is needed for good education.
Comparisons are Wrong:
There has become an increasing tendency to compare a non-teaching profession with the teaching profession. For one simple reason this is wrong. A teacher needs to be brilliant and zero defect in his/her performance all the time; even a single child that fails to pass an examination; ruins the prospects of that child and makes the whole effort negative; as again “Will any parent want his/her ward to fail?”. In short, dealing with a kid is not like making a sale, or writing a programming code. If a child fares bad, the result for parents and the child instantly comes to Zero.
As a teacher always has the responsibility to understand each of its products; bringing the 6-hour, ten hour debate to the scenario is wrong. When there are other pressing questions that need to be debated to take care of Indian Education Sector crisis.
What are the more pressing Questions:
First and foremost is the Pay:
According to a Stanford study, 57 percent of the public polled believe educators are underpaid.
Now we consider America to be good to their academics, but if this is the perception of the American public. Then the question becomes utmost necessary in Indian context too.
As it may not be the fact that Educators are underpaid in America; it’s only that people there perceive them to be underpaid; as they treat Education different from other professions; And for all the reasons I shared above, think Educators should be paid well, so that mediocrity doesn’t seep in.
Another thing to discuss, is the number of teaching hours. Now if as a parent or as an aware citizen, we want teachers to work 8 to 10 hours just like us; then we indirectly support mediocrity. If I sit 12 hours in front of a computer screen; I better know for how many hours I remain alert and brilliant.
Instead, just like we demanded capping the number of students in our children’s classrooms to 30 or 20. We should be demanding a strict six hour work duration for the teachers that teach our kids. And press schools to bring, a new teachers if the time extends the 6 hour limit. We should press schools for fresh and alert teachers.
Last but not the least:
Only a person who feels pride in his/her profession performs well; sulking individuals never give brilliant performances.
Now the argument, “if a person doesn’t like to be a teacher, why not chose some other profession”; doesn’t hold; as young people are already not opting for Education Sector. We are culling the sane debate, if we tell people not to become teachers. We need TEACHERS.
So lets question, “why a person who has studied equal to us, is not getting paid well?”; as he/she is teaching our child. And if we are doing every thing for our children; why not make sure they get best teacher every time they venture out to learn. Why limit kids’ options to second fiddles?