Sunday, August 14, 2011

Teaching – The Noble Profession

Last night I watched Prakash Jha’s latest venture, Aarakshan. Interestingly, a few weeks back I posted an article with the same title on my blog, so it was kind of déjà vu for me.

Mr Jha raised a few very interesting points in the film which I already mentioned on my blog post like, improving the standard of education at grass root level and the system of unbiased education. Another very interesting observation made in the film was elevating the standard of the profession without which we would be nobody – Teaching.

Teaching since eons has been a backup profession for the Indian society. We all start with big dreams of becoming Doctor, Engineer, IAS, IPS and more, and always have the backup plan of entering the teaching profession if everything else fails.

Why is teaching always Plan-B? Why doesn’t the cream of the student fraternity see a career in this profession? The answer is simple, “Because there isn’t one.” We see a career in medicine, engineering, entrepreneurship, civil services or even in being a bank clerk but not in the profession which made us who we are.

As far as women are concerned, teaching is more of a convenience than career or fulfilment for most of them. When I say most, I mean around 99% of them. I have several friends and distant relations who have opted for the profession of teaching because they couldn’t qualify for a better position and who find the idea of making sufficient “pocket money” and coming home by 2 pm good enough.

We attend classes of our favourite teachers but always come out of the class with only one idea haunting us - “Had they been good enough in what they are teaching us, they would have been at a better place. They wouldn’t have been here teaching us.” This is the kind of opinion we have of our teachers, which is not totally incorrect either. If you are close enough to ask your teachers about their dreams then would learn that most of them wanted to do something else in their lives than teach.

My father, wanted to do his PhD and become a professor in IIT, but he too like many others didn’t see a bright future in it. I wanted to teach, but I still can’t see a career in teaching. And let me tell you, there is nothing that I thoroughly enjoy than teaching. It fills me with positive energy and contentment. For several years we had this discussion over the dining table, of having better system for selection of teachers, lecturers and professors.

I was amazed that when I heard the same opinion being voiced in the film. It feels good to know that the intellectual society, too, can see the lapses in the profession of teaching. The idea of Indian Teaching Services was given in the film and I vote in favour of that idea. May the noble profession of teaching become a career option in coming time.

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