Thursday, July 28, 2005

Teaching as a career in India

Rajesh’s post on math teachers kicked me to writing this. Teaching or Educating, as it is now called, is listed in the Noble professions list. I am sure there would be a teacher in every one of our families, a thatha / athai /maama. All of such people of yesteryears I have met have been a very dedicated lot. Love their profession, contended, dream of producing better citizens. They expect in return, just to hear, their children [my mom used to call all her students as children] have done good, got better in life, of course along with their paltry pay, barely enough to support a family in a small town/village.

But today, who is taking up this profession?? Where is this in the Radar of a bright career aspirant?
Leaving apart the intellectuals in the premier institutes of the country, who constitute less than a 1000th of the whole community of teachers, I have to say from my experience that this profession has been the option of only the bottom X% of the class. Exceptions being folks with locational constraints or having a high degree of contentment, or either of the working spouses who wants to have a better work-life-balance. I am yet to see a person from the current generation who has taken to teaching in India, as a matter of choice.

Those who are a bit smart have exploited the money making opportunities available, starting from daily tuitions to entrance and special coaching. I know of a lecturer who was a project guide for a group of students, and ended up doing the whole project for the guys @ 5KRs. And wait, he evaluated his own project for nice internal grades! How pathetic!!

The system is now producing a generation of people trained in exploiting short cuts in the world. A generation of people just satisfied with the marks they get, [mostly by working 3 pervious yrs question papers, anybody can get 75% in any of the TN university exams, since the q-paper setter chooses from a combination of questions from 3 previous years papers, so that he doesn’t waste time, and he can go to take a tuition or entrance coaching class], following the policy 'just need good Ends, irrespective of how the Means are', which obviously fire back in long term and produce Ends just as good as the Means are.

There is a justification going on, that the teachers are also humans. They would also need money and more so, also have greed for money as everybody else does. Agreed, but at what cost?? Like Rajni says in Annamalai, Panam sampathikka aairam vazhi irukkumbodhu yenn ya indha punidhamana thozhilla asinga paduthareengha??.

On more thought, I could not, but massively appreciate the vision our forefathers had, when they put down the rule that, the learning/knowledge class has to beg even for their next meal, and not save anything for themselves.

Update: Random Access continues...


At Thu Jul 28, 02:41:00 AM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bravo TJ
I concur with your views. too bad this doesn't make sense to many people in India.

At Thu Jul 28, 06:26:00 AM CDT, Blogger ada-paavi!!!! said...

well if politics is used to make money, if religion is used to make money, why not teaching?
even thr rishis had to beg for food,

wat ur r hoping for is a drastic change which mite not happen in the ear future, but i hope it does

At Thu Jul 28, 06:52:00 AM CDT, Blogger ioiio said...

Infact as a matter of choice..
I have my eyes firmly on two professions after i recover the money spent in Columbia

1. Professor
2. Politics

At Thu Jul 28, 07:58:00 AM CDT, Blogger Paavai said...

Hi TJ, This is true of most professions. I also wish we all remember and act on Mahatma's saying - "Be the change you want to see happen".

I'm sure you have plans to "be the change", considering the intensity that you have expressed in your blog

At Thu Jul 28, 10:45:00 AM CDT, Blogger Random Access said...

I like to differ from the other comments here. You can find it here

Random Access
The search has just begun !!!

At Thu Jul 28, 10:49:00 AM CDT, Blogger AF said...

Teaching is noble profession, it is indeed sad to note that most of them are after money these days.
I hear US is short of teachers and hence they are bringing in people from India on a H visa to be a teacher. I know a few cases like that. So now in India many of them want to become teachers or nurses to go abroad.
Mostly because times are changing and teachers need to provide for their families and bring up their children who want to become engineers or doctors. In those days life was simple and people were contented with what they had, but now times are changing and let them make money too, as long as they teach well. It is up to them to multitask and earn more.

At Thu Jul 28, 11:30:00 AM CDT, Blogger krishna said...

definitey teaching is not a way to money per the words of Rajni..its primary purpose should be service to humanity...Y else wud the gurus of the elder days be considered only next to god??? (or may be god-like)

A perfect teacher is self-less and a self-less teacher is considered to be equivalent to the Supreme as per the popular shloka "gurur brahma..."

So, i concur with ur view that self-less sevice is more important..

Nice post..


dude, I appreciate ur spirit..

guess both the fields need some quality people ..people that are less motivated by money..

At Thu Jul 28, 06:08:00 PM CDT, Blogger ioiio said...

guess both the fields need some quality people ..

Enna solla vareeenga.. Enakku therinjaaganum :)

At Thu Jul 28, 07:44:00 PM CDT, Blogger krishna said...

when i said "quality people" , i meant people that are less motivated by money..a teacher is good only if he is able to teach the learnt knowledge effectively and if his primary intention is making money, he's definitely not gonna be an effective and quality teacher..

and when it comes to politics, I don't have to re-emphasize the need for people that are more service oriented

btw.. are ur intentions differnt??;)

At Fri Jul 29, 06:38:00 AM CDT, Blogger ioiio said...

Forget it.. U dint understand the joke :)

At Fri Jul 29, 10:19:00 AM CDT, Blogger Lavanya said...

Nice blog TJ. I agree that teachers are also humans. But, they can make wonders. If they realise this, they become excellent teachers just being humans.

How many of us associate some concept/ theorem or the other with the teacher who taught that?

At Fri Jul 29, 11:29:00 AM CDT, Blogger TJ said...

Yes Anand, everybody knows this, but none comes forward to clean it.
everybody is making money?? because unlive older times, we dont have rules that only one set of ppl shud make money and other shudnt... As u said, let us hope that things change
The two choices which u have are the one which affect the masses a lot. U can either use it or mis use it.. all the best
Thanks for visiting. Keep dropping in
@Random Access
Read your trackbakc have dropped comments there! Keep visiting.
Yes, teachers are in demand overseas, and lot of bright indians choose to this profession abroad. That is why i titled this post as 'teaching as a caree in India'.
Exactly, only those who have service motive shud be into teaching profession. Definitely not the ones with business motive.
Thanks for visiting and keep coming. Definitely we will be able to identify certain teachers and what they thought, that has created a huge impact on us!

At Fri Jul 29, 01:49:00 PM CDT, Blogger Kasthuri Srinivasan said...

Hey TJ,
I am still lil behind in catching up with u'r posts...will read it soon and leave comments.

At Fri Jul 29, 03:03:00 PM CDT, Blogger TJ said...

Kasthuri, Welcome always and anytime boss!! Waiting for ur comments as well.!

At Sat Jul 30, 12:19:00 AM CDT, Blogger Priya said...

hey tj.
nice post.a thought provoking one!

I have had some teachers who have been so dedicated and i still remember them. I definitely would say that teaching profession has been extremely misused.

But, teaching would not fetch the money you had invested in studies and back at home,everyone's aim is 'nalla sambadhikanum. In the world of s/w professionals around you, its really tough for many people to just be noble teachers..

At Mon Aug 01, 07:46:00 AM CDT, Blogger TJ said...

Exactly, as u said,
>'its really tough for many people >to just be noble teachers.. '
There shud something be fundamentally done to the system that this doesnt happen. Urgent need of the hour.!


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