The Bold Voice of J&K

Teaching community to observe professional ethics

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Shiv Kumar Padha 

The teacher (Guru) has always been held at high esteem in India since the vedic period. According to the Indian philosophy the teacher (Guru) is considered equal to the God. Dohas and Shalokas like Guru Govind donon khadey kake lagoon paoon bali haree guru aapke jin govind diyo milayee, and Gurur brahma, gurur Vishnu, gurur devo Maheshavra, gurur sakhshat par brahm tasme shri gurve namah testify this universal truth. Guru was considered as the embodiments of virtue and wisdom and an incarnation of God. He was the father figure, mother and friend of the disciples because he was entrusted with the noble duty of shaping their character and destiny in the Gurukuls. He enjoyed respect from the students as well as from the society like the uncrowned monarch. Shree Ram, Sh. Krishna, Kauravas and Pandvas, all passed their childhood in the Gurukuls to get Vidhya (knowledge) from their Gurus and became omniscient, omnipotent and invincible superhuman of the time. This could be possible only because these Gurus had been a treasure of unlimited knowledge and spirituality. The teaching was considered as a mission and not a profession. The teachers (Gurus) received their honorarium, sufficient for meeting their basic requirements, from the royal treasury. The Gurus, in addition to their assigned duty advised and guided the rulers in the matter of governance and welfare of the subjects. Being all powerful and capable they strictly conformed to the norms suiting to the noble and pious job of a teacher and considered them accountable before the society.
But the entry of some incapable and unscrupulous teachers has made the noble profession a concern of the masses because such type of teachers, instead of winning the confidence have lost the trust, prestige, credibility and dignity among the students and society and they are committed neither to the students nor to their profession. The falling standard of education especially in the government run schools has triggered a wide discussion among the educationists and the academicians of the country. I had an opportunity to serve in the TT School, DIE and DIET of Jammu Division for 29 years. During the period I have observed that the habits of truancy, irregularity, lack of study habit, knowledge of concepts, contents, skills and methodology of teaching is prevalent in majority of teachers working in the rural areas of the State.
Subletting the duties to the less qualified and untrained persons in lieu of petty amount have become very common in the rural areas. Many schools of these areas remain closed due to the absenteeism of the teachers and those who come from the distance reach late and leave the school early every day. The teachers prefer using the guides and help books instead of the prescribed text books in the class room which encourage rote memory and discourage the understanding and comprehension among the students. Majority of the teachers can neither write legibly and correctly nor do they have the capability of clearing the easiest concept from math’s, geography and sciences. It is shocking to know that a good percentage of the teachers cannot express currency and units of measurement in terms of decimals. They do not have the knowledge about the use of maps and globes and the implements of geometry boxes even. Majority of the teachers in our schools are the product of fake universities or of distance education institutions where the degrees are sold like other articles in the market. The performance of the teacher in the class room depends solely upon his conscious and sweet will. Like other professions there is no such unit as can measure the daily achievement of the teacher in the class room because the performance of the teacher cannot be measured but can be assessed during the examinations. The teachers, who are supposed to give moral education to the students in addition to their routine class work, are proving morally bankrupt.
Teaching is a transparent Job which needs a special attention towards the factors responsible for the fall of dignity and integrity of the teaching community in the society. In order to restore the fading dignity and integrity of the teachers the status of the noble profession need to be raised. It was therefore, considered necessary to have a code of professional ethics which may be evolved by the teaching community for its guidance. The National Policy on Educaton-1986 suggested that national level associations of teachers could prepare a code of professional ethic for the teachers and see to its observance. In the light of the policy recommendations, a draft code of profession ethic for teachers was developed in a workshop with the help of representatives of various national level teachers associations. Finally the code was reviewed and finalised in a meeting of eminent educationists held at NIE campus New Delhi on 12th -13th March 1986.The code has a brief preamble indicating the goal of education in our country. There are five major areas of professional activities which encompass the work of the teacher. The preamble reads;
1. Recognising that every child has a fundamental right to get education of good quality.
2. Recognising that education should be directed to all round development of the human personality.
3. Realising the need for developing faith in the guiding principles of our polity viz. democracy, social justice and secularism.
4. Recognising the need to promote our rich cultural heritage, national awareness, international understanding and world peace.
5. Recognising that teacher being a part and parcel of the social milieu, share the needs and the aspirations of the people.
6. Realising the need for self discipline among the members of the teaching community.
7. Realising that expert knowledge, specialised skills and dedication are the prerequisites needed for the profession.
As far as teacher’s relations to the students are concerned, he must be punctual in attending his duty in the school, and should teach the curriculum after making thorough preparation for the lesson to be taught. He should treat all the students with love and affection and be just and impartial to all irrespective of cast, creed, sex, status, religion language and place of birth. The teacher should guide the students in their physical, intellectual emotional moral development. He should take notice of the individual needs and differences among the students and adapt his teaching accordingly. The teacher should refrain from accepting remuneration for coaching his/her own students. He should also refrain from divulging confidential information about students except to those who are legitimately entitled to it. The teachers should not incite students against other students, teachers and administration.
The teacher should set a standard of dress, speech and behaviour worthy of example to the students.
To keep the parents of the students abreast with the achievement of their wards, the teachers should establish cordial relations with the parents/guardians and provide information regularly to parents regarding the attainments and shortfalls of their wards.
Since the schools get their population from the society, the school and the teacher should develop the educational institutions as a community and human resource development centre providing knowledge, information and skill .The teacher should strive to understand social problems and help in its solution. The teaching community should keep in mind that they are handsomely paid as compared to the employees in other departments. There is no dearth of sincere, qualified and dedicated teachers in the country who are sparing no efforts in preparing the future scholars, doctors, scientists and statesmen in the schools but the number of such teachers is too little to cater to the needs of developing India because ‘single swallow cannot make summer’.

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