Shiv Kumar Padha
According to one famous Chinese proverb “If you think one year ahead, plant rice, if you think ten years ahead plant trees and if you think hundred years ahead educate people.” Inspite of concerted efforts of the State and Central Governments for improvement of the quality of education especially of the schools under public sector it is felt that the schools are not yielding that quality of education which is desired by the parents and the State. The State and Central Governments are sparing no efforts in providing required infra-structure, teaching learning material, qualified teachers, spacious and all weather school buildings, facilities of drinking water lavatories both for boys and girls, free text books, mid-day meals, scholarships to the poor children and uniforms. The teachers working in the Government sector are better paid than their counter parts working in the schools run in the private sector. But all these efforts prove fruitless and meaningless so for as the quality of education and its standard is concerned like ‘Dhak ke wohi teen paat’. The quality of education being imparted in Government schools is low with the result that 27% of Indian children are educated in private institutions. It has been observed through many studies that the students studying in the private schools did better than the students who read in Government schools. It is a fact that private institutions fail to provide education to the poor children but it is observed by all of us that the private schools cover entire curriculum and offer extracurricular activities such as sports, science fares, dramas, music activities etc. Moreover the student teacher ratio is more in private schools than the Government schools. So far as in-service training is concerned, 43.44 percent of the Government school teachers get it whereas only 2.23 percent teachers in un-aided schools receive such training. All parents feel that their children and wards do not conform to the standards of the classes they study in and do not possess the capability as per the minimum level of learning prescribed for their age and standard. Not to talk of primary classes, the students studying in higher classes are quite at sea in mathematics and languages. Majority of the students emerging from primary, middle standard are found week in literacy (languages). Numeracy (numbers i.e mathematics) and technicacy (sciences). The subjects are related, integrated and interdependent upon each other. Language is considered as a vehicle which provides easy access to all other subjects. It is experienced that a child week in language can never be at home in any subject what so ever, the numeracy i.e mathematics is the soul of all sciences like physics, chemistry, geography and other subjects where calculations are involved. It is observed that majority of students emerging from the schools are not the worth the standard they qualify and are often found week in languages and mathematics. They can neither read nor write correctly the piece of text other than the one pertaining their text books. The achievement of the students in mathematics is no better and is found at the lowest ebb because many of them, irrespective of the standard, are unable to write or read the big numbers according to their place value. The solution of the problems pertaining to simple interest, profit and loss, simple and decimal fractions, conversion of metric system proves a herculean job even for the students of higher classes. They often read the big numbers like the telephone numbers. The question arises, after all what is the quality education and who are those responsible for that ?
The type of education which helps developing the cognitive domain (knowledge, understanding and skill) of the students in the class room and enabling them face the future challenges of life successfully can in true sense be called a quality education. Quality education means that the majority of the students, if not all, meet the expectations of the ‘minimum level of learning. Quality determines how much and how well children learn, because education role is promoting values and attitudes of responsible citizenship. The committed teachers by their sincere and committed efforts can bring about qualitative improvement in education as ‘Better teachers produce better students. In our country chances and not the choice make a teacher. It is encouraging that the schools have been provided with qualified teachers by the State and Central Governments with handsome emoluments. But it is very sad that some of the teachers instead of doing justice with their profession pay attention to their career at the cost of class room teaching. They consider Education Department as a financing agency, a transit camp and a launching pad from where they take flights for higher career in other fields. The teacher’s job is so autonomous that his/her immediate task master in the class room is none other than his own will and conscious. The commitment of the teachers with their profession is the only key to bring about quality in the education. A committed physician is one whose behaviour is determined by the practice of his medicines, a committed lawyer is one whose behaviour is consistent with his philosophy of law, and consequently a committed teacher is one whose modus operandi is based upon his philosophy of law, and consequently a committed teacher is one whose behaviour is consistent with his philosophy of education. Education is the largest profession in the world and no other profession has a responsibility as the one of the teaching profession. The greatest inhibition in achieving the qualitative education is the habit of the teachers going unprepared to the class room, interest in the affairs not connected with the noble profession, tuitions work and lack of professional efficiency in them. Some qualified teachers, in order to carry on their further studies or flourish their side business, manage their adjustments in the schools located in the remotest areas instead of where their service are badly needed so that they can manage away from their school duties.
It is the need of the time that the teachers should identify their role they have to play in the process of making country well literate and educated and re- dedicate them for the noble cause they have been entrusted with. The teaching community, which has been entrusted with the duty of shaping the destiny of the coming generation, should assimilate such qualities as help them make committed teacher so that they can steer the nation in the right and desirable direction. For that he should have the desire to become a good teacher so that the children and the youth can be developed to his full potential, he should foster intellectual curiosity and desire to learn, recognize the worth of each individual and fulfill his professional abilities and should never forget that the profession’s d’etre is the education of the students.
While selecting the teachers the recruiting agencies should keep one important thing in mind that the schools qualified and dedicated teachers and not mere employees who are third grade matriculates, or graduates as is seen in the case of appointments of ReT’s otherwise the desire for achieving quality education for the budding generation will become a wild goose chase.
Shiv Kumar Padha