How Education system is evolving in India and the way Teachers are being created || Part-2 by Sai Venkatesh

It's teacher's day today and I was wondering what to share. This thought was there in my mind till lunch and on lunch tablediscussionstartedagainonsametopic. And then it moved towards the way schools operate in India, how the trends have changed in urban & rural India. Let's see how things have changed...(A Photograph of student on bicycle in Standford University Campus, Paulo Alto, California, USA)I belong to rural India and have deeper understanding of that part of my country. And I feel that many things changed in last decade. Most of my schoolinghas happened in Government schools and I moved out of Senior Secondary school in 2001 to pursue engineering. That was a time, when most of thevillagekidswere going to government schools for primary education and 90% of them would continue next studies in government schools only. Teachers ingovermentschoolwere those folks, who actually wanted to become teacher and cleared different exams & interviews. This may sound unrealistic in India, as we can say thatmany of the shifarishi folks must be becoming teachers. But the proportion must be minimal and here I am talking about Himachal Pradesh. Butideaofsharingthis information is that most of the government teachers of that time were sort of ideal for teaching kids who would define the future of our country.The same thought is shared by Dr A P J Abdul Kalam with some different examples, which I would try to share in the end of this blog-post. So 10 years back, most of the rural students of states like Himachal Pradesh were going to Government Schools for education. And ifweseecurrentscenario,least fraction of students are joining Government Schools. Now there are multiple factors which are driving this change in our country. Oneoftheprimaryreason was NO CHANGE in government schools. These schools never bothered to see how education systems are changing and how technology&otherthingsareimportant for kids coming to a school. These schools kept on focusing academics, marks, Pass/Fail, %age etc. There were very few kids whoweredoinggoodinother activities. Although, many of the teachers initiated some unique ideas which sustained only during the tenure of that particular teacher.With time, many private institutions came up with Private schools and they marketed well the shortcomings of government schools. Of-course,thereisnomarketing channel for government schools and slowly private schools in rural areas started becoming more popular. There were many reasons, but all ofthemwere true only on paper. These private schools started doing many other activities apart from academic practices in the campus. On of the reason for the shift was also driven by our own political parties. Privatization brought good amount of money for politicians, they alwayssupported processes which ease the job of private schools with any control. So it became very easy to open an approved school with very basic infrastructure.   Now let's look at the Teachers we have in these private schools and their motivation level. Most of these teachers get salary of 3000 to 8000 rupeesandmostof them are below 5000. With such high inflation in India, can you imagine how a teacher in these schools must be running his/her home?Whatthemotivationwould be? This is one of the topic, where we can keep questioning different things & type of folks who are teaching kids of this country.   To me, Education system is rural India is very immature and it's more like imitating fashion-trends. Most of the privateschoolsinruralIndiaaretryingtoimitate good brands in urban India without resources, which is sort of funny. At this point of time, I am restless and feel like quitting this post asthereis no end to the fundamental problems our education system has.   Now let's look at the Teacher joining government schools these days. There is deep political influence which is hard to prove in our currentsystem.Sincethere is so much political influence, most of the times these folks spend time in Politics rather than teaching. Although there are exceptions everywhere,but in Education system exceptions should happen other way round.  If we only look at the salaries teachers are getting in schools, we get an indication that which slot is teaching kids of our nation. I don't think thatIneed to define the term 'slot' further. And Urban schools are doing the same as far as salaries are concerned. Most of the schools get signaturesofteacherson different salary as compared the real amount they give. A Teacher who put signature on 15000, gets almost 3000-5000 rs. and that'stooinbrandedschoolswhich everyone of us are aware of.   At times, I feel really bad for our country which is loosing on every front. I know, these are very pessimistic thoughts but somehow these factorsmakeusthink that why bad trends are increasing in every aspect of our life. In our day to day discussions, we feelpeoplewhoaresubjectmastersaredoingsomespecialized jobs instead of teaching. In our country, there are very few educational institutions which offer goodcompensationforteachers/professors/coaches. And in other countries, many of the good Indian Teachers are in high demand and of-course, they are moving outforobviousreasons. Education is one of the main focus for many of the state governments but unfortunately fundamental things are not getting focusedIt's a very lengthy topic and we can keep discussing it for a long time. I didn't want to write such a sad post on Teacher's Day, but thesethoughts have caught me andhopethatthingswilhappen for good in future. HAPPY TEACHER'S DAY !!!

While first post talks about the degradation that has happened over the last 10 years, I can see a decline (steep, and not gradual) over the last 40 years. One of the reasons, that of the salaries of the teacher is mentioned in this post, but there are quite a few others, most of which are actually political. Please note that I am not siding with any party, or speaking against any party, but govt. as a team together with all the parties put together.

    I am sure, you would have read Lord MacCaulay's post that did circles a few days back on Facebook. It happened in 1833, where he replaced the Indian Education System with the British one and camouflaged it under the garb of modern Science and Social Science, and improvement, and actually made us uneducated eventually. But that was in his political interest, and that is precisely what our Government has also followed over the last 40 years.

    Keep Education as a big open issue, so that you can tap the vote banks. And what Mahatma Gandhi had proposed in early 40s, with a lot of thought for the nation's pedigree, was packed off by Nehru, with his appointed Kothari Commission. Google it, and you will find a copy of the report. It is around 300 pages, and an easy read, but not difficult to read between the lines the political agenda of each element.

    The summary of all this is to keep the Junta uneducated, even if they fall under the educated category.

    Let us first look at the salaries. You need a Teacher to be a graduate, followed by a B Ed degree, which was nearly impossible in the 1960s and 1970s, to be a full time teacher in a Govt. school. It clearly meant that less educated teachers would teach as GUEST TEACHERS for less. And, the Govt. can siphon off money, and meet their uber unsaid goal of keeping people uneducated.

    Now, that laid the foundation for today's education level. To top it, the salaries didn't go up with the liberalization and the private sector boom. Worst, the salaries for teachers in the private sectors were also paltry. That pushed the passionate and talented ones to other professions like Engineering, Medicine, or even to professions that they would never use their skillset, such as the BPOs. While all this started 40 years back, least did we realize that it was an organized ploy to keep us uneducated.

    Now, those less capable, less passionate and less qualified people got into this line, and have become Principals of today. It is really pathetic, as to how a person can become a principal, whereas he wouldn't qualify for a BPO job, or even a clerical data entry job. So, the system for failure has been created and mounted on the wall. It has been allowed to grow really well into a monster. While all this time, public statements, every 5 year plan, every 7 year plan, every budget kept claiming the increase in the number of schools (Not the increase in the quality of education). So, the different govts kept showing us a different image of the reality, that our parents and we, kept consuming with oblivion. Soon, our children will also consume the same crap.

    Now, building on top of that foundation, the story of the last 10 years as you told here stands true. To add to that, comes the non-detention policy, where the students are not detained till 8th class. The reality is that there are so many daily wage kids who enrol into these schools to get the daily midday meals and the pair of annual uniform, that they can wear. They don't need to attend the classes, and can scribble anything in their tests, and still keep passing till 8th Class. After that, they will be listed as a literate Indian, qualified up to 8th Class, and be categorically eliminated out of the system. This is no less than a crime, but we accept it gracefully and appreciate such decisions. This has been the reason that the competition has been reduced greatly these days. The biggest joke is that this feeds the educated people, and helps them drift further ahead of the pack. So, you have the "AYE" of the educated as well.

    Then the private sector story as you have mentioned here in first post.

    Now, the neo-parents, and the super-elite schools of the day, which are continuing the legacy in a different manner. Even 12th Grade teachers feel like baby-sitters now. The parents don't have time for their children. These parents are machines, embedded into a mint. They may also not know what their child looks like. For them, the school is a creche, where their 17 year old baby goes, so that they can be at their workplace, or their kitty party, or the shopping malls, or any other engagement that would keep them away from their baby. It doesn't matter if their baby has a test, but they would take him/her for a vacation abroad, because that was the only schedule they had in their official time table, and it was recommended by a counselor that they spend time with their child. We have created a literate uneducated baby, who has learnt all the vices, and who is a part of the organized crime. Eventually, this baby might even become a leader as his parents are wealthy, and ensure that he continues the legacy of keeping people uneducated.

    Don't worry, another 10 years, and we will have a generation that will not even be able to comprehend what is written here. Then, they will be happy go lucky, because they won't even understand that they are in a grave. They would have been drained completely and would just be a mechanical part of the system controlled externally. Sounds like The Matrix?

    By the way, look at the entire history of the world. Do you think, it is even possible to have more number of educated people in the world? Wouldn't that lead to more chaos? Isn't the number just apt? Isn't the inequality the reason that the world functions smoothly? Aren't we trying to spoil the natural equilibrium by spreading education?

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