Save the system

Give teachers the respect they deserve, students the due they deserve and the society what it deserves

Sheikh Maqbool
Srinagar, Publish Date: May 17 2018 10:44PM | Updated Date: May 17 2018 10:44PM
Save the system

Education is a character building process.  What the great people of the world had meant by education? Education is a product of struggle carried by mankind for the betterment of the society. But what is the situation today? Education is in deep crisis in this period of globalization. It has been highly restrictive in variety of ways. It had been pointed out by many educationists that there had been a planned attempt to curtail education and to deprive the majority of population from the scope of education. Universal, free and compulsory education is everyone's demand. 

But today what we are witnessing is all out commercialisation and marketisation of education without having morals and values and talk of progressive culture in the educational syllabus. And that is why we are finding lack of social concern and social sensitivity in the people related to the field of education whether they are teachers or students as well. The New Education Policy of 1986 had opened the flood gates of privatization and commercialisation of education carried by the then government at centre. After that one by one policies have been brought by all the governments. The National Knowledge Commission and The Yashpal Committee Recommendations has pushed education towards market commodity, even for multi national companies too. The two important stake holders of education system, teachers and students are the worst  victims of the degradation of entire education system.

According to the definition of GATS, while the investors are producers of education, the teachers in the educational institutions are facilitators, i.e. virtually salesmen appointed by the authorities. Furthermore, astonishingly the NKC prefers the incentive salary based differentiation among teachers within the same university and within the same department by rating their performance as in a private limited company. The NKC and Yashpal Committee allow the provision that a private management, in order to attract students may invite some reputed teacher at a much higher salary, while others will be handed a meagre sum. The salary of a teacher will depend on the marking and rating by the students. What a humiliating plight to which teachers are being pushed. They will have to virtually appease the students to manage their salary. This will be detrimental to the teaching profession because it will lead to awkward professional competition, jealousy and ego clashes among teachers. How the private managements treat the teachers ―In many private educational institutions, the appointment of teachers is made at the lowest possible cost. They are treated with scant dignity, thereby turning away competent persons from opting for the teaching profession. A limited number of senior positions are filled at attractive salaries, especially from other reputed institutions, mainly for prestige. Otherwise, there are many terrible instances of faculty being asked to work in more than one institution belonging to the management; their salary being paid only for nine months; actual payments being much less than the amount signed for; impounding of their certificates and passports; compelling them to award pass marks in the internal examination to the ―favorites and fail marks for students who protest illegal collections and so on If teachers are treated with such indignity is man making and pursuit of excellence possible in this environment of commercialization?

What is happening in our state? The undignified treatment towards teachers is developing in the state. Above mentioned situation is prevailing not only in higher education but it is coming simultaneously in school education too. Although the government, centre or state both of them are spending money on other counts. But unfortunately education budget is being reduced in every central and state budget. All the governments are shrinking from their financial responsibility of providing education to the entire section of the people and rather taking control over the autonomy of education. Teachers who are the creaters of the future of our society are not paid their salary from the last three months. Whatever can be the excuse on the part of the authority, but it is true that then we will not get quality education if our teaches are not paid well. And when teachers are raising their voice for their legitimate and just demands, they are cane-charged by the police. Kashmir valley is already passing through a great crisis. Due to continues political conflicts, already education has suffered a lot. And this kind of act of not paying salary is adding to the worst. 

Education is in peril. And our moral responsibility is to save it.  It has reached such an extent that teachers alone or students alone can not fight. People from all walks of the life have to join hands and save the system from the mess it is in. 

(The writer is Chief Spokesperson of JK RTI Foundation)