Sometimes, school days fill our mind with nostalgic memories; and we celebrate our personal memory of individual teachers who dedicated their life for providing ‘quality education’. If we aspire to have quality education, we must have quality teachers. The current teachers are theoretically qualified in academic certificates; but, most of them largely lack the characters of a true teacher; consequently, the teachers of the day are gradually losing respects of people.
We remember the earlier teachers of our time who were full of light. The teachers taught during 1980s and before. They did not have one single quality- they possessed packs of qualities. Their unparallel dedication to their profession, their sincerity for the students, and in-depth accountability to the society impressed students, parents and people of all walks of life. They made all their efforts for the wellbeing of their students. It was their job to foster each individual to the best of their ability.They were holistic education providers. Because of their indispensable role, they used to enjoy the highest prestige in the society. The earlier teachers used to prepare their students for life so that they could become good, compassionate and physically as well as mentally robust human beings, by imparting them education in a holistic manner- not only material aspects of life but also ethical and spiritual ones.
They used to teach the students to empower them in every way, to earn a living and dealing with adversities of life and lending a helping hand to those in need. The earlier teachers were more curious about the future of students; but, nowadays nothing is there in the present teachers. These super qualities of the earlier teachers are completely absent in the present teachers.
At times, our earlier teachers showed strictness to their students; and sometimes, they became infuriated and punished the students. But, the parents or guardians never complained because parents considered what was done by the teachers were done for the cause of their children’s wellbeing. Their love, affectionate, compassion won the hearts of the students. So, they are remembered decade after decade. Still today, we bow down our head to our teachers who taught us long years ago.
The teachers were the hero and role model to their students. They spent extra hours teaching at free of cost. For all these reasons, until 1980s, the education standard was much higher than today’s education. Their sincerity, hard work, selflessness, dedication, accountability ensured the quality education. So, people honoured the teachers from their very core of their heart. However, the learning situation has been changed rapidly over the past thirty years because teachers’ quality and characteristics fell down rapidly during this period.
In Bangladesh, the quality education is widely absent, and continuously deteriorating. We formulated good Education Policy; our syllabus and curriculum adequately standard to meet the global needs; textbooks are written with authentic materials; the contents are very wonderful of the time. The government is providing huge facilities to the teachers; the salaries of the teachers have been increased; modern infrastructure, technologies, and equipment are provided. In spite of that, the dream of quality education did not come true.
Then, why the quality education has not been achieved in spite of giving huge effort by the government? There are three key reasons behind it, these are: (i) the curriculum is not implemented in the classroom; (ii) teacher’s activities are not at all monitored or supervised, and; (iii) poor evaluation criteria are practiced.So, whatever education policy we adopt; whatever curriculum we formulate; and whatever modern technologies we provide will be of no use unless monitoring on teachers are ensured; the teachers accountability is guaranteed, and evaluation and grading systems are reshuffled.
There is a common opinion that current teachers are much worse than earlier teachers, and this fact gives birth to a new direction as "Home Education" - this is when parents themselves teach their children, because they are not happy at all with the quality of school teaching. Today’s teachers are a consequence of the values of the era of globalization, when education is deliberately deteriorating in order to turn the people into an electorate that would be easily misleading. Thus, today's teachers are a derivative of the values of the time of the Globalization, in which we now live.
However, teaching is not just like any other profession. There are many different factors that can derail a teacher’s career. These types of teacher are truly bad teachers and can hurt the profession. It is worthy saying that teachers have lost their respect in the society. Not giving enough time to students is crucial reason why students lose the respect.
The students forget the teachers as soon as they leave their school or college. The cordial relationship between a teacher and a student is missing; so, they are forgotten and erased out from the memory of students. At present, every teacher is involved in private coaching. In present day, it is a business for everyone.
Here, we may illustrate findings of three recent research conducted by the professional researchers: (i) CAMPE recently conducted a study with big number of participants on the status of teachers at primary, secondary, higher secondary, and tertiary levels and found that only 5% teachers may be followed; (ii) Education and Development Research Council (EDRC) explored (2019) that 96% percent teachers misbehaved with them while 98% parents opined that they are not satisfied with the teaching provided by the schools; finally, (iii) a group of teachers from Dhaka University conducted a research on the technical education at the higher secondary level, and found that more than 92% students are dissatisfied with their teachers.
Teachers are everyday idol, standing at the entryway to the world. If they are fair and good, they are possibly the most morally impressive persons that their students will ever know. For a while, they are the law, they are knowledge, and they are justice.
Teaching to today’s generation is a toughest job and teachers must be extremely careful. Teachers should give efforts to regain their lost respect by their deeds; at the same time, the government must impose strong monitoring and supervision on the teacher activities to ensure quality education as “Education is the backbone of a nation”, which has no alternative. The upcoming new Education Act -2020 may contribute to the way of acquiring quality education at all levels.
The writer is a educational researcher and teacher educator.