We have already wasted 70 years; It’s time we made a serious start, says Padma Bhushan Dr. AV Rama Rao

Prior to independence teaching was considered a noble profession. After completing my graduation, I worked as a demonstrator instead of going for a government job because I too considered it a noble profession. Today, the elementary schools run by the government are more or less not worthy at all, even the teachers are not taking their profession seriously. The condition of private schools is good because the teachers there are paid well.    

Problems at university level

There are good people who are working in Central Universities; there is no dearth of good talent there. In the state universities, appointments are made on temporary basis in the beginning. These universities are poorly equipped so they are not able to retain good talent.

 

People also do not want to get into the profession of teaching because they are paid nearly one-tenth of what industry would pay to the same person based on same qualifications.

 

Good teachers are also not sticking with the profession as they get limited to only teaching. They are not given good research work to do, nor do they get good facility for the same. In a good university, teaching and research go hand in hand; teaching is only up to graduation, after that it’s all research. Most of the people who are good researchers also like to teach.

Dr. AV Rama RaoDr. AV Rama Rao,

Former Director

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research

 

We need to revise the pay-scale. We have to also improve or change the way promotions are done in schools. In case of a normal government employee, by the time he retires he gets four-five promotions while in case of a school teacher he retires at the same level.

How to get people into teaching?

First and foremost, we need to revise the pay-scale. We have to also improve or change the way promotions are done in schools. In case of a normal government employee, by the time he retires he gets four-five promotions while in case of a school teacher if he is teaching at the primary level he retires from the profession at the same level. There is no way in which he could get into teaching at the high school level. So, we need to review this system based on performance. Unless the education system at the elementary and high school level improves we cannot get good quality people at the university level.

 

Another problem is that subjects like languages and sciences are not given much importance; the focus is on technical education. 

 

Create the right atmosphere

We need an atmosphere where teachers can deliver best quality education to students. These things cannot happen overnight and we need to totally revamp our education system. It might take time but we have to do it now as we have already wasted 70 years. Somewhere we have to make a serious effort.

 

Industry-academia connect is missing

We, as academicians always think that industry is not reaching out to us; there is a need for serious effort from both the sides. These things are not also happening at the CSIR labs which are supposed to do because of the leadership problem. Everybody wants to publish papers but nobody wants to look into the quality of paper, they only go by numbers, how many papers you published.               

 

A question of employability

We have to also take into account the fact that most of the graduates; PhDs coming out of colleges are not employable. Jobs are limited in the government sector. So what we can do is that we can give one-year training to our PhD or postgraduate-level students. The training should be what the industry is demanding. As per my experience during my research days I was getting a lot of industry projects and also earning good money out of it. We have neglected this aspect and we need to explore this area and this is a good way one can also involve with the industry. 

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