Ideology discordance of people and its impact on teachers

Dr. S. Birahari Singh *

 Floral tributes paid by Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur (COHSEM
Floral tributes paid by Council of Higher Secondary Education, Manipur (COHSEM) :: pix - Deepak Oinam

It is an undeniable fact that there is mental underpinning for any sort of conscious behaviour. Different sections of our people and different institutions of our society expose discordant ideologies more specifically on education. These discordant ideologies seem to make the teachers (teachers in formal educational institutions) to be the scapegoats in our society.

In some instances they are viewed as gurus of the epics. However, they are disliked and not honoured in a number of cases as a sign of negation of the view cited. Such discordant views are corrosive in a number of ways. They are internecine to both the viewers and the viewed. With this perspective muzzy areas of the public opinion are exposed in the hope for bringing an ideological change in the policy makers, planners, executives and general public.

Interactions between media personnel and high achievers or position holders in examinations or competitions are very often heard and read. In it, credit for the achiever's success is given to a number of actors involved. In fact, it is a truth and a justice to be admired. More precisely, credit for success is not given to the teachers only though the achievers were given formal education by the teachers.

Such kind of logical thinking is bound to be permeated among our people, policy makers, planners and executives. Logical thinking of the high achievers is admirable. In it, the fact that a number of factors are necessarily involved in the education of an individual is discernible.

On the another hand, sharing responsibility for failure is extremely rare because everybody wants to throw responsibility for failure to others excluding himself or herself. In sharing credit for success people are generous, logical and modern. While in sharing responsibility for failure people seem to be partial, illogical and archaic. Their ideologies are very much akin to ideologies espoused in the epics of India.

Categorically, causes of student's failures are ascribed to the teachers only. However, it is to be noted that modern teachers are not to be viewed as gurus of the epics. We are not in the vedic period and following vedic period education system. Teachers are to be taken simply as facilitators and guides in the process of education.

Given the qualifications of facilitators or guides, their competency and efficacy are subject to the responses from other inalienable complementary or cooperative or supplementary factors involved concomitantly in the process. In fact, teacher is one of the factors of education.

The present writer once wrote, "Education is a multi-factorial social process attempting all round development of the individuals carried out by the society in the society and for the society for it's (society's) progression to a higher level of development." Nevertheless, the writer doesn't consider the teachers to be immune to criticism. Imperative for behavioural change in the teachers is advocated and propagated among the teachers persistently.

Another point of view not to be neglected is that academic success as well as failure are two products of the same process. Credit sharing for one product (academic success) is accepted and done. On the another hand, responsibility sharing for another product (academic failure) is denied and not done. Is it a moral justice?

The teachers are not against sharing of credit for success with a number of role players. Teachers plea is that responsibility for failure also is to be shared with others judiciously and courageously. They are not to be considered as the gladiators of ancient Rome. If this proposition is not agreeable to the society, the society is bound to give the whole credit of student's success to the teachers only under the principle of logical corollary.

What a funny thing! It is not that the teachers should snatch the duly shared credit from others as it is said before. Ascribing the causes of both success and failure to teachers only is not judicious. In the negative ascription, ideologies of people are vedic. Teachers are viewed as people who can make and unmake the students. On the contrary, teaching profession is not cherished in our society mainly because it has no side-income and it isn't as glamorous as the ones that have side-income and social clout.

The writer is calling a spade a spade. It is to be noted that the success of medical treatment of the patient lies in the true diagnosis of the disease. People never cease to expect vedic period teacher's role in the present system of education. They also never stop to dislike the teaching profession. The two ideologies are not in concordance.

It is categorically stated that teachers don't want side-income. We abhor it. Even if we want it, there is no room for it. We didn't teach anybody to earn side-income. We also take a pledge not to produce side-income earners. On the contrary, the society admires the side-income earners. Even though admiration is not done, side-income earning is condoned.

Only the teachers are expected to be clean notwithstanding others. Isn't it a topsy-turvy in the value system? Each and every paid employee and any sort of profession must be immune to corruption and side-income earning. In this context also a discrepancy in the ideologies of teachers and the people emerges. Teachers want the people to emulate them. This will work amazingly. No doubt, there is exception as a societal rule. Discordance and discrepancy in ideologies give negative impact to both moral and morale of the teachers.

In undermines moral judgment of the teachers who realized that education is a precious property of the whole society to be shared and to be taken care of by each and every sane member of the society. It also dampens morale of the teachers because they are well conscious that they, along with other factors of education, are products of the society in which they live.

For the teachers it is well understood that education is not an exclusive property of the teachers. If this claim is made by the teachers, antagonists will spring up without a second's delay. Therefore, credit for success as well as responsibility for failure are to be shared judiciously and courageously subject to the principle of logical corollary.

Who are to be blamed then? "Start correction right from yourself" is the slogan of the present writer. Remember, teachers should not be viewed as the saints of the past. They are not also the gladiators of the ancient Rome.

Present age is the age of competition. Excellence will win and persist. Whatever excellent in any field will flow in wherever there is deficiency. Globalization invites it because extensity and intensity of competition are exacerbated by this modern era phenomenon. In this context, a discrepancy is observed in the ideologies of our people.

Our people dearly practice unfair means in the examinations though there is perceptible exception. This is incompatible with high achievement or excellence. Excellence cannot be achieved in this way. There is also discrepancy between the number of students enrolled and present physically in the classroom. This can be verified wherever and whenever surprise visit is done in majority of educational institutions with the exception of some. In short, education (formal) is practiced in a superficial manner in majority of educational institutions. This should not be taken amiss. Disclosure of the reality will pave the path for solution.

Another perspective to be considered is that education is taken to be synonymous with harmonious development of the individual. One of the indisputable functions of education is, therefore, to ensure it. In this context, ecological systems theory of child development can be brought into consideration. As advocated by Urie Bronfenbrenner, a leading propounder of this theory, chronosystem which represents the dynamic as well as ever-changing nature of children and their experiences is greatly influenced by nested layers of the environment christened microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem and macrosystem.

A distinguished American Professor of Psychology, L E. Berk once wrote, "Therefore, in ecological systems theory, development is neither controlled by environmental circumstances nor driven by inner dispositions. Instead, children are both products and producers of their environments, in a network of interdependent effects." Hence, it is time to do away with myopic attitude. We should not succumb to the pressures of failures. Failure is part and parcel of life. Life minus failure is a figment of imagination.

The unsuccessfuls in the examinations are not to be taken as the dregs of the society. Let us be practical and reality-based. Let us emulate the Japanese who grow again from the ash of atom bombs. My dear countrymen, stop blame-game! Hunt out remedy! Don't be late!

* Dr. S. Birahari Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is Associate Professor, Y.K. College
This article was posted on July 11, 2013.

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