New Delhi, May 29: Expressing concern over the “poor quality” of teachers, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal Tuesday said they needed to be paid more to ensure quality education — a point that was well received by the teaching fraternity. Some teachers also felt that low salaries were responsible for the coaching culture.
Speaking at a conference here, Sibal said teaching won’t attract talent unless teachers were given proper benefits.
“There is no uniformity in salaries of teachers. No medical benefit, no house rent allowance, incentive or pension,” he said.
“Even parents encourage their children to go for jobs that get them liquid capital (money)… Unless we realise it is the most important to invest in building human capital by educating children, we can’t do anything,” he said.
Sibal’s comment was welcomed by teachers in the national capital.
“I agree with the minister completely. Teachers get low salaries so they have to look for other options,” Delhi’s Tagore International School principal Madhulika Sen told IANS.
“It is because of this the culture of coaching has flourished. Tuition system was not there earlier, but because teachers are not paid well, they have to look for other options to earn money,” she said.
Jyoti Bose, principle of Springdale Public School, however, said though salaries had increased, it was the glamour of corporate world that took away the talent. “The global economy is such that the young people are more attracted towards the corporate.”
Nirmal Sonkar, who has been a teacher in a government school for over 20 years, advocates a pool of resources for teachers, something the HRD minister also advocated.
“Salaries in teaching profession have been better after the implementation of the sixth pay commission. However, to add to the talent pool of teachers, we need constant update mechanisms in the profession,” Sonkar said.
“We cannot involve youth in this profession unless we evolve and update our obsolete education system. There should be evaluation, seminars, interaction and more classroom-based powers with teachers in government schools also. Increasing the salaries alone will not do,” she added.
Sibal Tuesday said a “pool of pedagogy” was needed to meet the challenge of having quality teachers.
“Data banks with high quality teacher education material can be set up which can be accessed by all. There is no system in place to ensure life-long learning for teachers,” the minister said.
“Globalisation of education is the reality of our times. We need global commitment to the issue,” he added.
The minister also said the national mission on teacher’s education being launched in the 12th plan had its focus on improving quality of teachers.