Teachers are blamed too often

In this photograph taken on June 1, 2016, Indian schoolchildren and teachers take part in lessons in classrooms at Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh(RSS)run Sankardev Sishu Nikatan School in the Betkuchi area of Guwahati. / AFP PHOTO / Biju BORO

I am a teacher in the pre-primary school. I have been in this profession for two years. What I have seen is that teachers are mostly blamed for almost everything that happens to a student. Suppose in a school bus a child beats another child, then also we will be blamed. One teacher cannot have eyes everywhere. Nobody thinks of disciplining their child to curb such incidents. They will point fingers at the teachers at the slightest of pretexts.

I have not done my BEd. But there are many who have that qualification. They are teaching in secondary and higher secondary schools. Before joining they are told to sign papers in which the salaries they are going to be paid are mentioned. But when the time of getting their salary comes, they are paid less, sometimes even half the amount promised. The environment in the school where I teach is healthy. But sometimes those in higher position try to pull the other teachers down by demotivating them due to various reasons.

Every little thing that happens in a school, the first suspect is always the teacher. Many schools have tightened their security system to keep up with the demands of the parents. This shows how the society has lost its faith in teachers and we are always kept under scanner. Also, sometimes when you complain to the parents about a student, they do not take it in a positive way. This is a sensitive matter. Only some parents take criticism positively. But most do not.

Sometimes, when we are traveling in a school bus, what happens is the parents overreact when the bus drops the children a little far from where they are supposed to. One day, a grandparent of one child got furious at this and yelled at a teacher. He used abusive language. He even said ‘You know who I am?’ to threaten the teacher.

That teacher, a colleague of mine, stopped using the bus since then. She felt humiliated. Moreover, the parents of the child took this issue to the principal also. The principal told them they should not have use abusived language. But even then, my colleague felt too threatened to take the bus.

The school claims that they will increase your salary. But when the time for appraisal comes, they come up with a list — which contains things you have not done right. Why did the administration not take up these issues earlier? Only when the time of a salary hike comes , they will address these ‘problems’ you have. They will point out things like — your performance is not up to the mark; your students are not doing well and many more.

Sometimes teachers blame other teachers also. See, when students finish nursery and go to kindergarten, there is a break of two months. They are not studying much or revising during that period. The children lose track of things they have done. Then also the teachers are blamed. But we are doing the best we can.
— As told to Shruti Das

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