International Motivational Speaker Simerjeet' Singh's Blog

O Teacher, Where Art Thou?

“What nobler employment, or more valuable to the state, than that of the man who instructs the rising generation”

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Here are a few shocking facts  that I came across in Hindustan Times (1 HT Chd Edition, Wed, Aug 5, 09, Pg 10 ‘So, What did you learn at school today?’ by Kamayani Singh)

‘Bangladesh, Peru and Papua New Guinea have much lower teacher absenteeism rates that India.’ 1

A 2004 world Bank Study discovered that ’25 per cent of teachers were missing and another 25 to 30% not teaching at the time of three unannounced inspections at 3,700 schools across 20 states in India. The only country that fared worse on the survey was Uganda, with a teacher absenteeism rate of 25%‘ 1

25% absent and another 25-30% not teaching – that leads to almost a 50-55% collapse of the system with the accountability falling on the shoulders of just one resource – the teachers.

Kamyani Singh highlights the plight of one Raman Kumar who dreamed of learning how to read and write and who considered himself lucky when his father signed him up at the Government School in his village. His excitement soon met with disappointment when the Masterji wouldn’t turn up or would order the boys to fetch him tea and bidis and then doze off to sleep.

Would Masterji dare to do this if he were working for a private organization? Why is a Government job taken for granted by the ones who are entrusted with shaping the future of this nation? When will the bulk of our institutions stop churning out sub-standard graduates in the job market? When will taxpayers demand a greater accountability for how their money is being spent?

When will our Masterjis realize what’s at stake for those who make their way to school everyday?

‘All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of Youth’



  1. joy

    Noble profession, ignoble teachers……! That’s the tagline for Government Schools. Pity the government nurtures such kind of people. The malaise is so wide-spread in almost every government school in villages.

    One wonders why only in villages?

    There are other government schools like Kendriya Vidyalayas, I’m sure the teachers here are not so crass and irresponsible…I’ve studied in KVs and should know. Infact the two most special teachers who moulded me were in a Kendriya Vidyalaya in an Air Force base, situated in a small Punjab town. The reason for such behaviour in village schools eludes me. I wonder how many brilliant kids remain mediocre due to lack of proper instruction…pathetic.

  2. Venus.V.S.

    Really interesting Simerjeet , Thanks!
    We need now to focus and research why it is those teachers in those countries are present to “give ” their time to educating children , to sculpt the minds of our future generation ?

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