On Teacher’s Day, former NCERT chief Krishna Kumar says restoring professional dignity of teachers should be the top priority.
“Much damage has been done over the recent decades by misplaced priorities and wrong policies, particularly in the matter of recruitment and service conditions. We also need to radically improve the working conditions of teachers,” he told Hindustan Times during an interview.
On India’s acute shortage of teachers, Kumar believes that better and quicker ways of recruiting teachers is needed.
“Estimates suggest that India needs 1.3 million teachers. And we are only talking about the elementary schools, not including pre-schools. At the secondary and the senior secondary level, the crisis is equally serious. Lakhs of vulnerable ad hoc teachers are serving against these vacancies,” said the Delhi University’s professor of education.
He further said that due to vulnerability in the teaching profession, young people want to avoid it.
“How can one expect commitment from someone who is hired for a short while and is facing chronic uncertainty? Teaching used to be a career, until the late ’80s and ’90s, but now our brightest young people want to avoid this profession as they know how vulnerable it is,” he added.