ON this auspicious occasion of Teachers Day, let me congratulate all teachers and students of India and my native state of Jammu and Kashmir. Today everyone of us whosoever he or she is; whatever position one occupying is somewhere because of the knowledge and values imbibed by the teacher.
In our culture and in religious history of India, the teacher or Guru has been given paramount respect and been compared with God. But it is quite unfortunate that like other professions this noble profession is also losing its sheen and Integrity in the society. There may be variety of reasons for this decline like commercialization of our educational system and digitization of information and less human interface.
Whatever the reason is, but being a teacher, it hurts deep when during my interaction with students, I realize this bitter fact that gradually the noble profession of teaching is not in the desired list of professions that our younger generation wishes to opt after completing their studies. This is really a shock for me not only as a teacher at present but even as a person who desired this noble profession like many other contemporaries of mine.
As per census data 2011, the literacy rate (collective of male and female) in Jammu and Kashmir have touched 67.16 % which is 11.64 % more than the census data of 2001, the male literacy rate have increased by 10.15 percent as compared to 2001 census data and presently it is 76.75 %. The female literacy rate have also witnessed an upward trend during the last decade, as per 2001 census it was just 43 percent which have now crossed 56 percent as per the last census of 2011.
In militancy infested state of ours, In a decade this spurt of 10 percent overall literacy rate is appreciable and for that we must congratulate the political dispensations but the real credit for this increase is dedication and honesty of majority of the teachers who challenged all the odds like difficult terrain, climate, poor road connectivity but helped to lit the lamp of education.
On one side during the last decade the literacy rate have increased in the state but on the other side the noble profession of teaching have also been eclipsed with controversies and scandals. A decline of honour by the society has been noticed for teaching profession which may be attributed due to the penetration of a few dubious, unprofessional, incompetent and unskilled persons in the profession, unfortunately in India and especially in our state of Jammu and Kashmir there is no fixed parameter to access and evaluate whether a person is fit to be a teacher or not.
To be qualified and called as a Doctor, Engineer, Lawyer and Architect besides basic academic qualification one must possess the professional degree or diploma to render services as a professional, in these professions merely possessing an educational qualification even though with highest marks do not confer any right upon anyone to pursue the profession unless he qualifies the professional course.
But in case of teacher as of now there is no such prerequisite to hold any professional degree diploma or even certificate, merely holding an academic qualification is sufficient to pursue the profession of teacher, there is not even any provision of compulsory basic training.
It is high time that the educationists, lawmakers and the civil society join hands and try to build a consensus so that only competent and skilled people with conviction to serve the society are allowed to join this noble profession.
A person without having a formal medical degree and training cannot diagnose anyone in the government hospital similarly he cannot open a private clinic but in case of teaching profession, as of now though there are few norms and standards fixed for appointment as a teacher in government institute but in the private educational institutes specially in the pre-primary, primary, middle and High school level there is complete apathy, many such private institutes appoint faculty members even without having sufficient educational qualification forget any professional degree or diploma. It is surprising that when we do not allow a fake doctor to diagnose even an animal then how we can allow pseudo teachers to continue ruin the future of budding generations of our society without any check.
An ailing human being may be cured with modern treatment and medicine but if once the social structure of the society which up to a large extent is motivated by the teacher is dislocated then only God can help us. .
In the recent past, Jammu and Kashmir have witnessed some miserable incidents where a number of teachers have been arrayed as accused in cases of paper leak scam while others being arrested. If one have a look at the data related to criminal cases filed against people associated with teaching professions then it comes to light that there are variety of serious charges against them like molestation, rape, rape attempt on minor, forging documents, corporal punishment, accepting bribe, forgery etc. We have also heard news reports of postponement of examination of not only University Level exams but even that of class 12th paper, 10th and shockingly class 8th paper as well due to paper leak. How one can forget to mention the case of the aspiring candidate for Rehbar-e-Taleem teacher who could not write even an essay on cow, ( we should be thankful to the judiciary who timely intervened in the instant case) but was so curious and confident to join this profession perhaps that candidate was sure that he would be accommodated only in this sector. The above stated information may be painful but truth and we cant be blind to this fact. It is not an allegation against the teaching community of which I am also a part but it is time to introspect.
The quality of education is directly proportion to the ethics, morality and professionalism of a teacher; we may have modern schools, smart classes, state of the art infrastructure but without having professional faculty nothing can be achieved. One moral teacher is sufficient to nurture the future of thousands of youth the task which even 100 model schools cant do. Teaching is not a ordinary job that can be assumed only after acquiring higher qualification or good grades in academic discourse, the teacher should have the ability to learn and only then he can be a good teacher.
The intention to put the above record is not to defame any individual or profession but just to underline the neglect so that we wake up and take corrective measures but if anyones feelings are hurt I regret for the same.
The author is Vice Chancellor of Sai Nath University, Ranchi and native of District Poonch, Jammu and Kashmir. He can be mailed at: email@example.com
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