The inequality in our Society that is prevalent from time immemorial bestows upon the present generation a healthy difference in their individual capability. Overcoming this difference is the fundamental requirement and biggest challenge in achieving an egalitarian Society. Education, no doubt is the only answer in hand to eliminate this difference in capability of individuals. Though the number of Schools/Colleges are quite high in our nation, the quality of education imparted is not appreciable, the root cause of this being the decline in the quality of teachers in these institutions.
Government has indeed understood the cause. The introduction of Teacher Eligibility Test, Conducting Workshops for Teachers, Imparting Computer Education to aged school teachers, Prescribing Post Graduation as minimum requirement for teaching in Engineering Colleges and alike are welcome steps but are not sufficient to catapult Educational Growth at the desired rate.
Let’s take Engineering Colleges in India for a case study. All Engineering Students will agree that, more than 60% of the present day Engineering Faculties (Excluding those in Premium Institutes like IITs, NITs and reputed Universities) do not have proper grip over the subject they are teaching. We apologise to all our teachers for making such a statement. The meaningless lectures of such faculties kill the joy of learning in students. How can one explain a concept to another without he/she himself/herself understanding it? The fact that these 60% Faculties themselves were taught by similar unqualified teachers is the prime reason for this lapse. This vicious cycle of unskilled teachers creating technically incompetent engineers results in a negative avalanche of creation of more number of incompetent Engineers year by year. This negative avalanche indirectly has effect on overall development of Society too since the capability of all the engineers produced is not same. The very purpose of imparting education to eliminate the difference in capabilities is thus defeated.
For the academic year 2017-2018,
- Total Number of approved Engineering Colleges = 10,399
- Total Number of Intake = 35.5 Lakhs (approx.)
- Total Number of Faculties = 7 Lakhs (approx.)
- Total Number of Enrolment = 20 Lakhs (approx.)
The Student Teacher Ratio for engineering colleges prescribed by AICTE is 1:15. The International standard is 1:10. Taking full intake of students every year, a total of 142 Lakhs students will be taking Engineering Course at any period of time. The Job in Hand is to make around 9.5 Lakhs (142 Lakhs / 15) of Quality Engineering Faculties.
“Matha, Pitha, Guru, Deivam” / “Mother, Father, Teacher, God”
The teacher is placed next to parents and ahead of the God in the order of reverence prescribed by our Ancestors. But why is teaching not a lucrative job in present day’s Society?? Simple answer is Teachers are paid less.
Increasing the pay scales of teachers [equivalent to that of executives in Profit Making Public Sector Undertakings] shouldn’t be a problem at all. Premium Government Engineering Institutes are already paying huge scales. The Private Educational Institutes of today mostly are Business Centres where money is minted. Private Institutions should be forced to implement the Scale of Pay followed in Government Institutes.
Considering the 1:15 ratio, the fees paid by 15 students contribute for one teacher’s salary. Take on average fees of Rs. 8,000/- per month per student in private institutions, a teacher for 15 students can be easily paid Rs. 80,000/- per month, which as on date is definitely a lucrative salary. The institute can easily spend rest Rs. 40,000/- earned per 15 students for its other expenditure. After all remember, Educational institutions are not profit making centres.
The real problem though is dearth of 9.5 Lakhs really talented Engineering Faculties who can be employed. This is where a planned positive avalanche action is to be taken by government. The idea is to start a mission with say 1000 Experienced and well talented Teachers say from IITs, NITs, reputed Universities in India and from Foreign Universities too. A Crash Course for training Faculties in at least 2 subjects within 6 months should be framed. Following the teacher student ratio of 1:15, create 15,000 qualified teachers within six months with the help of 1000 teachers selected. These 15,000 can be chosen from the existing pool of teachers and engineering graduates on merit basis through Eligibility Test in the standard of GATE. They should also be paid prescribed huge salary starting from their period of study. At the end of course make sure all of them are well trained in their subject by means of rigid testing. Now using this 16,000 teachers in hand, create a set of 2,40,000 teachers (16,000 x 15) in next 6 months. In subsequent years, part of these qualified teacher pool should be distributed throughout the country in various institutes and a part should be utilised to continue the positive avalanche action until 9.5 Lakhs Quality Faculties are produced say within a period of 5 years. The present day teachers who miss to qualify to enter this pool of 9.5 Lakhs should be shown the gate. This is in short a process a creation of 2.5 Lakhs Job in addition to existing 7 Lakhs Job by means of testing, training and re-testing and ensuring that all 9.5 lakhs Job holders are really qualified enough to create competent engineers. The complications of implementing the same are definitely enormous. (But must not be as complicated as implementation of demonetization as this is concerned with only 9.5 Lakhs of our Population 😉 )
This merciless process of replacing Incompetent Gurus will help in creating a Capable India of tomorrow. Engineers produced by such qualified teachers will not beg the Government for Job but their Capability will help them become the architects of modern India and their own future.
The quality of Engineering Education in India is stooping to its nadir. Its high time government acted to revive the same.
Similar positive avalanche should be planned for primary school education and other fields of education also. For every individual, getting proper Guru is of utmost importance. Its Government’s duty to ensure there are no Incompetent Gurus in the field of education.
But our dear Students, Please do not hide behind this Post, passing the blame on incompetent Faculties for your own Failures. Remember APJ Abdul Kalam’s Words-
A good student could learn more from a bad teacher than a poor student learns from a Good teacher.
Wish you all Happy Republic Day.