Happy Teachers Day Ramblings : :) :) :)

Happy Teachers Day Ramblings : 🙂 🙂 🙂

Our grandfather was a teacher and then a headmaster. He lived all his professional life in the village of Allagadda in the Rayalaseema region of AP. He was a respected man in the village. My father has been a teacher in disguise. A govt employee (P&T) who found excuses to stay at various telegraph training institutes as often as he could. I have seen the love and respect his trainees had for him. It is also evidenced by the number of wall clocks and wristwatches at home – he got one at the time of graduation ceremony every year :). When he had more time, he would coach children in our ‘colony’ (my friends and children of his friends) – Mathematics was his favourite. English too, I recall. Also, I can still remember ‘Ozymandias’ that he taught Annapurna Didi that I would overhear as he taught her. My mother started and ran a school at home called – Bharatiya Bala Niketan. Both of them now spend all their time teaching Sanskrit at Samskrita Bharati. In short, this runs in our blood. Sreeni, Dr. Param and I could call ourselves anything though it is a disguise. It is teaching, simple. So this is a special day. Happy Teachers Day 🙂

Teacher in India :
During these 40 years, though, one thing has changed for the worse. The social ladder on top of which the teacher was perched has turned upside down. The reflection of the outcomes of the same is omnipresent. My grand-dad was a respected star in his village, my father had to pursue his passion on the side. In our era, it is all about net worth. Money is the only reason for being accorded the pedestal and poor teacher can never get there. So, he languishes. And when he languishes, the nation slows down. She underperforms vis a vis her potential.

The redeeming feature though is that our society values education at the core of it – the family. Hence, with all the idiots doing mindless stuff around us, we still are safe. The family and the mother is possessive and also feel utterly responsible about the progress of the child. They go to any length to enable the launch pad that pulls the next generation out of the hell hole called poverty. Education is the only escape from that rut! 40 years ago, two sets of people were working at it…..now, the teacher is disenfranchised from that process. Only the family is at work.

No policy maker has the balls to make teaching the most rewarding profession. Why, the heck, should a research scholar or a so-called any educated elite (IIT, IAS, IIM, Ph.D ) not be teaching in a school. What is so great about investment banking or selling airwaves for a mobile company. These highly educated people are doing worse things. The reason is simple – MONEY.

You make the teaching profession the most rewarding and see what we can do to the fortunes of our country in one generation. We are, actually, an outcome of an era that had teachers from the top quartile of the talented population. Not anymore. The more you dig into statistics the more disillusioned you will be.

Teaching recruitment is a mafia. no bureaucrat or politician has the nerve to put his hand into that hell hole. I recall a research paper long ago which said that the two most paid professionals in Japan were the teacher and the policemen. Without any doubt, it makes sense to me. But, who cares! Nevertheless, Happy Teachers Day. 🙂

There is another irony to it. Our permanent teachers in the government schools are paid very well compared to their counterparts in the normal private sector schools. Man to man. Role to role. Of course, I am not comparing with the hospitality-specialised schools who transact educational business 🙂

It is also a fact that anywhere between 50-90 percent (depending upon which city or village) of all children in our country go to a government school and hence reclaiming qualitative leadership is an imperative.

Instead of utilising these high budgets for permanent teachers and attracting the top talent into the school, the school running administration deals with the issue in a weird way – By recruiting ad-hoc teachers at one fourth the salary-remuneration. So, your child is taught by an MLA or MP supplied manpower who is paid Rs 15-20000 instead of a better qualified and motivated youth who gets paid Rs 75000 to a lakh! Yes, a yoga teacher’s salary in a school that I visited recently was at Rs 87,000 and the history teacher’s was 92,000. That is good. But, we put adhoc or temporary teachers at a fraction.

These savings are being worn as badges for smart management by various hierarchies of the administration. No one has any courage or conviction to take the bull by the horns. The outcome is a disastrous output in the form of an ill-formed youth, in the worst case and an ill-equipped degree holder who has no skills, in the best case. IITs and IIMs are an epitome of the best case scenario.

Why is there no institutional framework to build education leaders ? If we have Instituions and processes to supply engineers, administrators, lawyers to the economy, why don’t we have a top notch and comparable that attracts the best talent and that wants to be in education. They also need to be paid the same as an IAS officer. But, he stays on education for his whole life just like an IFS officer. It can be a stream taken from the IAS itself in a manner that recruits people who have a strong commitment ans passion for education. Policy makers, politicians of that vision – there ? Nevertheless, Happy Teachers Day 🙂

In my view, there is nothing more valuable as a contribution to the society as a professional than to be a teacher or Guru to the next generation. Every profession plays an important role in the society yet a great teacher comes right after the mother and the father. When I look back at the decision of quitting the corporate sector to become a ‘coaching guy’, I did not have to explain my decision even for a minute to my parents. That I was getting into ‘teaching’ made my father very happy as he understood that much more than the whole meaninglessness of selling pharmaceutical drugs. That too, after an IIM. 🙂 For the world, it was quite the opposite! Wise man, he is:) Happy Teachers Day. 🙂

Gurur Bramha Gurur Vishnu
Gurudevo Maheshvarah
Guru Shaakshaath Parabramha
Tasmai Sri Guruve Namaha

Happy Teachers day, yet again!


"Hope this does not bore you to death. This is my effort to stay relevant by honing a skill or two with respect to the webworld" - Satya

One Response to “Happy Teachers Day Ramblings : :) :) :)”

  1. Sunil Banerjee

    Dear Satya Sir, Herewith a belated reaction. Your oblique reference to the Indian Education Service is worth its weight in gold . It deserves
    to be resurrected. However a caveat. What will be the selection machinery?If it is the same as the UPSC the results will be similar. The bulk of today’s IAS officers cannot hold a candle to the ICS officers of yore. The desired educationists may turn out to be a bunch of self seeking Uriah Heeps.Best regards, Sunil Banerjee.


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