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Monday, September 25, 2017

Rededicate & recommit

Thursday, 07 September 2017 12:09
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Since he became the Governor of Nagaland, PB Acharya has been talking about the need to bring drastic changes in the state education system, particularly rectifying the serious issues plaguing the education department, like proxy teachers, corruption, insincerity of teachers/education department, etc. This is because the quality of school education has an important role in the overall development of the child. And it is a sad state of affairs and bordering on criminal neglect that today students studying in our schools, not just government schools, are being left to fend for themselves. Regrettably teachers also appear to have developed an entrenched vested interest. Over the years, the society, as a whole, has blamed the teachers for the poor results of government schools in board exams, and has called for change in the educational system. Unfortunately we seem to have lost the hope of a change, and perhaps the teacher is to be blamed. But does the real problem pertain to the absence of a requisite capacity, as most of the commentators tend to believe? If it's so, a mere administrative reform or approach must stem the rot. That may begin with a fair recruitment policy to attract the best available talent. At the same time purging the system from deadwood should cleanse education system from all the ills. We have over the years heard of bad or even absence of infrastructure for the poor quality of education in the government run schools. As if private schools here are paragon of quality education. Conversely the so-called private schools are abode of wholesome commercialisation. Leave aside the simple private schools where the real intention is to make money; the so-called missionary schools are abusing education system by resorting to worst kind of commercialisation. There is little or no concern for awakening of minds by imparting real education. Do these commercial outlets still justify to be labelled as schools? Comparison, of an utterly inefficient government school and fully commercially driven private school, truly stands reduced to a choice between a deep sea and the devil. In the good old days, when there were no computers, a well stuffed laboratory was even a dream, yet the education system could produce legendary teachers. Didn't those poorly paid teachers earn the respect, moreover, admiration of the society through sheer diligence and dedication? Some of them were not properly qualified, if their comparison is to be drawn with the highly qualified of the present. Why that commitment is missing today? The point is that it's not the mere administrative oversight that needs to be further streamlined. If the mind continues to fail, could the layer after layer of administrative labyrinth deliver? It's not the simple issue of capacity that haunts our educational system. Whether a person tasked to educate is educated sufficiently, is not the real problem. Is our teacher motivated enough to teach, should be the fundamental area of query. Yes, of course that equals to put a disturbing question mark on the integrity, and not necessarily on the ability, of a teacher. In an immensely distressing situation wherein the notion of integrity itself has been rendered as suspect, is it not injustice to hold only a teacher dishonest. Is a doctor true to his/her profession, for that matter who is? Is it possible to cite a shining example, amongst politicians, bureaucrats, or a simple trader? Since everyone else has failed to deliver, singling-out a teacher will be highly unfair. The teacher alone is not the problem; we are severely challenged by the breakdown of the society. Either we lose hope and stand consigned to the dustbin of history. Or else we refuse the perpetuating state of hopelessness and hence decide to rise again as a people as well as nation. If a teacher is cause of hopelessness, he/she alone as a nation builder can again invoke hope. A difference between hope and hopelessness could be made by a teacher alone. In case we are really desirous of a change, the teacher ought to be empowered, hence liberated to emerge as a harbinger of that change. Let's stop the blame game and begin a serious dialogue within. Indeed the beginning ought to be made with a teacher, yet the entire society has to undergo a process of reform. 

 


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