Sunday, December 3, 2023

Rudderless vessels

As has been stressed earlier in this column, the first concern of every parent is the education of his/her children. It is a common experience that majority of parents are today unhappy and dissatisfied over the education and its quality being imparted in majority of schools in our towns and villages. It is a question before every parent, after all what is that hurdle which is coming in the way of quality of education in our schools? The reasons for the deterioration in the quality of education are lack of zeal and will on the part of the teaching community and the heads that are aliens to the education department and are totally devoid of the basic rudiments of the educational system. In fact, it can be said that the schools, these days, have been converted into sub offices due to the increased load of paper works. Even the services of two teachers of a school sometimes fall short for the amount of paper works, which affects the scholastic as well as the non scholastic sides of school functioning. The department apparently considers only those schools as number one, which keep a hot line between the schools and the head offices and respond to the correspondence immediately even at the cost of classroom work. The annual or quarterly academic inspection of schools has become a thing of the past, because the department is headed by bureaucrats and not by the academicians. They only know how to save their skin and pile up problems for their successors. Whether they are administrative heads or principal directors/directors or provincial heads, they are interested in making adjustments transfers, sanctioning of grants and other funds instead of indulging themselves in academic side. Perhaps this is the reason why our schools become rudderless vessels, which often drift away from their course. Perhaps before appointing officers in the education department it should be kept in mind that they should have authored some books on educational problems, methodology or philosophy. Another important issue is the teachers. Now it goes without saying that teachers are arguably the most important group of professionals for our nation’s future. And it is disturbing to find that many of today’s teachers are dissatisfied with their jobs. Job satisfaction is good not only for employees but society as a whole. It increases productivity and classroom performance. These aspects are important because if the teachers are not satisfied with their profession they cannot contribute productively and thus unable to contribute to quality education. Indeed job satisfaction is an important issue. People are interested to work in the organization as well as the services where they get more satisfaction. It is human behaviour. But in reality how far such job satisfaction is ensured in teachers’ jobs. Job satisfaction is the extent to which one feels good about the job. It is in regard to one’s feelings or state of mind regarding the nature of their work. Generally teachers’ job satisfaction depends upon the number of factors such as getting handsome salary, having dignity and social status, job security (in terms of stability and permanency), job matching with academic qualification, a favorable physical environment (like good building, class rooms, furniture, teachers’ room, toilets, etc.), favorable social environment, having good career prospect and to work in a desired profession, etc. Job satisfaction is very essential in the lives of teachers because they form the fundamental reason for working in life. The importance of job satisfaction is very crucial to the long-term growth of any educational system around the world. Job satisfaction in this context is the ability of the teaching job to meet teachers’ needs and improve their job/teaching performance. Knowledge, skills and competencies occur when one feels effective in one’s behavior. Clearly though the causes responsible for poor quality of education in our schools look trivial at the first instance but these are eating into the vitals of academic life of our children for which our state will have to pay a heavy price, because a small hole if not plugged in time can sink the whole boat.