One fine afternoon, I was sitting in a school premise with the Principal and was discussing about how to get efficient teachers in school and in Disha project. DISHA is an alternate learning program currently running in two schools in Naujheel, Mathura where our project teachers deliver the activity based learning curriculum. This year we are expanding our program, so we are in need of some more teachers and likewise both schools are in need of teaching staff.
Both schools currently have 30 teachers, among them only two or three are trained, means they have degree in bachelors in education (B.ED. course), rest are either graduate or pursuing graduation. We took the interview of school teachers before our program intervention highlighted these points-
- Teaching is not a priority to most of them. Nobody wanted to become teacher. In a small town, teaching is single available profession for graduate girls, which provide some work opportunity to bear their expenses and to utilize their time until they are not getting married. Male teachers have different reasons of doing it like, failure in other job attempts, not able to migrate and to support their primary occupation i.e agriculture. There is no genuine interest in this profession and no passion towards it.
- Competencies and teaching skills were also an issue. Most of the teachers are not practicing the right pedagogy of teaching; they are not dealing with the concept in the classroom but just completing the syllabus in the question-answer format.
- I believe, teaching is not a job, which requires degree, but undoubtedly – responsibility of shaping new generation, respect and passion for the work and skills to perform their duties are requirement for this profession
- If these 30 teachers, who are going to mould approximately 1800 students’ mind and life, who are not so good enough for this profession than it is a big question that where their interest, respect and competencies are lacking in teaching. Or is it just about these30 teachers who accidently came in this profession or is it result of any bad recruitment process where mediocre recruited.
I think they are just sample representatives of all. These teachers actually are the result of a faulty system, which produces mediocre (here I am just talking about teachers). Here in UP, education is at its lowest level where the whole education system is based on fakeness, cheating and corruption.
In Mathura, child starts schooling at the age of 4 or 5, starts experiencing the process of rote learning rather than contextual learning in elementary education and reaches high schools without understanding the basic concept. In absence of strong foundation, child and their parents take cheating as most reliable way of passing the exam in which system helps them. In secondary and college level, It is so easy to get degree in without attending any classes and lecture. There are number of colleges and institutes who are selling the degrees. The whole education system in this place is running like an abominable commodity. If you have to pass board exams of high school and Intermediate, the cheating fees are respectively, 3000 and 5000 without bargaining. Every stakeholder is promoting this trend and contributing in producing mediocrity whether it is any politician or government officer from education department or school, teachers, students or even parents too. Students and teachers know well that the system will promote them academically so no need of qualitative learning and teaching.
In the similar way, the cycle of producing mediocrity by the current education system in Mathura or in whole Uttar Pradesh will go on like this only. Some of these students could become future teachers, follow the system and mediocrity will be expanded.