THE GOVERNMENT PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHER.
Can anyone match this feat?
Although nondescript in their appearance, these schools are hard to be missed. Comprising just of classrooms they'll be full of glaring yellow painted patches with hordes of instructions and advertisements of govt schemes you know you have spotted yet another government school imparting free basic education.
Maybe after reading this post you might just be tempted to stop by while driving through the countryside and take a peep at the activities therein.
In all probability you'll find just one or two teacher employed there who are supposed to deal every subject till class five.
Surprised? Please don't be.Not only are the hassled teachers supposed to be innovative while dealing with kids, they are responsible for providing each and every child two sets of stitched complete uniform of perfect fit and specifications at a pittance, lesser than the cost of a proper underwear.
Shocked? Not yet please. These hapless teachers are mess incharge too. They provide for healthy, nutritious and hot meals cooked in the school kitchen every single day to every single child at a pittance again and keep the records of spendings down to the last spices.
Unbelievable? That's not even half a day's work. They are clerks too. They struggle to fill uncountable number of forms and complete innumerable paperwork pertaining to every child every month. The workload that would engage one clerk the entire month is just another work for these pitiable souls. They maintain almirah full of registers, see to the admissions, attendances, provide school leaving certificates, make results and deal with the parents singlehandedly.
Speechless? Not yet please. They've been trained to play the role of mini doctors. They provide iron and folate tablets, vitamins etc to every child every week on their discretion along with attending to the first aid requirement of the kids.
Mind boggling now? Not to be. These odd creatures are supposed to keep the classes and fields and furnitures along with the toilets spotlessly clean. They distribute free textbooks, workbooks and keep an account of each book provided.
Stunned? Surely not. The by now de- motivated teachers are responsible for smooth conduction of elections, they sacrifice their sundays for national missions namely pulse polio, the onus of accurate headcounts of the population/ census too rests on their shoulders.
Impossible! Nope! It is not a word for these beings. They keep the area around their school tobacco free, they educate the surrounding society on road safety, they plead for children to be send to their schools, they are solely responsible to bring the first generation learners to school each day. They keep an headcount of all kids from ages 3 to 14 in the entire village.....
Do I list more??
Believe it or not, there's still more.. .
The million dollar questions are-
1- Can a nation expect any level of learning outcome from our kids who are left to be tutored by an army of multipurpose workers who happen to be teachers too?
2- Are the teachers only to be blamed for the dismal performance of their wards?
Despite these deterrents there still are remarkably well managed schools which excel not because of the system, rather inspite of the system. I maintain that our governments lack the drive and the axe falls on the weakest of all- THE PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHER.
Note- Kindly spare the argument of absentee teachers. Such instances thrive with the active connivance of the concerned officials. I argue and put my case for the majority of able and trained teachers who would rather love to perform given the opportunity to TEACH.
.......... Stay tuned for part 2. ☺