Of late, a video of teachers in villages and small towns in India went viral with teachers not knowing the spellings and basic general knowledge like the names of presidents and prime ministers so on and so forth. It invites many comments, acerbic, funny, condescending, demeaning. To me that whole video was so sad and heart-wrenching.
It is a sad commentary about our schooling. It is thought-provoking. What is the point of putting kids in school when they are neither equipped nor evolved enough to be place for learning. They are not place for sharing of knowledge but rather a place where a kinship of ignorance is kindled. Teachers in most government schools in India are broken individuals who as a result of failed fate or abysmal aptitude couldn't do anything better but to teach.
They aren't overwhelming souls brimming with knowledge, but have dark gaping holes of ignorance churning with sadness inside. They are teachers since they couldn't be anything else. And it isn't not as much about salary and compensation as about the falling gratitude of parents and students alike as a society. I am yet to come across kids studying with an intent to become a teacher when they grow up or parents who want their kids to become teachers when they grow up. It is a failed profession. True, there are some really great teachers, who really love the fact that they hold the solemn responsibility of moulding the next generation of people. Someday, those little people walking awkwardly with bags bigger than their bodies will become the custodians of the nation and the world. How many kids have access to them?
I remember recently having seen a movie on the flight in which the English teacher gets into a tiff with the newly arrived painting teacher over the primacy of their respective subject over the other. How many of our teachers take that kind of pride in subjects they teach? How often they come out as playing, worshiping and nurturing the subjects they teach?
Until the day we have people wanting to be teachers, dreaming to be teachers and have a general access to teachers like that, such videos are nothing but a source of sadness for a nation that wants to be a world teacher. Teaching is a very special job. It is not about teacher's training. A great teacher need not necessarily be trained in handling kids well, he should be trained to handle his subject well. He must want to, love to get his student love his subject, and yes, he must believe his subject to be holding the key to human evolution.
Without improving the quality of teachers, the campaign like No child left behind is useless since schools itself are being left behind. Teaching has to be a profession of joy and patience and godliness. Teachers have to be Demi-God and we must create an environment in which they could become one. They should be able to set example and we must let them be able to do that.