“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’