Ghazala Fatima

GURU DAKSHINA

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There was a time in Indian history when the teaching profession was considered as the most respected, noble and sacred profession by the society. Teachers have always played the role of catalyst for social changes in our society. As the time progressed we became more advanced and somewhere in our progress the respected and noble profession lost its value. Mostly in private schools teachers are treated more like labours even a degree lesser in terms of monthly earnings. Students who are still in their studies when they come to know about the misery of teaching profession they ought not to consider teachers profession for themselves. What has happened and why???

As a teacher, your salary can vary greatly depending on your training, qualification and experience. The level at which you are teaching can also make a difference to your salary package. Unfortunately the salary package in the profession of teaching is not very high in government sector. But with the private education market booming in Kashmir, exploitation in salary is increasing day by day. And Artists with highest professional degrees are the ones who suffer the most, either they have to migrate or be prepared to get exploited.

In Kashmir we do not have Art classes in our curriculum and there is no hope yet that our education system is going to introduce Art as a subject in government schools any sooner. For the Artist of Kashmir holding highest professional degree and who wishes to teach art has nowhere to go except few private schools. To add the misery most private schools in Kashmir with grand names are mere objects for business and instead of providing a platform for unemployed educated youth they exploit their vulnerability.

Private schools with vast infrastructure and reasonably high fee structure offer a meager salary to teachers. Talking to an Artist with masters degree in fine arts who just came out after giving her interview for the post of art teacher in Delhi Public School Srinagar (one of the most reputed schools of the valley) said, I could not believe how unworthy they think our profession is, with such a huge infrastructure and high fee scale they could no offer me more than twelve thousand (Rs 12000) per month that’s less than what a labour earns. Adding that, “I have masters degree in Fine Arts Painting it takes years to achieve a degree and they just make a joke of us.”

When education system was started, shishya (students) used to give guru dakshina (tuition fees) to their gurus (teachers) and everything was up to the teacher to decide may it be fee structure or working hours. Teaching was a noble and much respected profession in the society. Now when the education system has changed and with the emergence of private educational institutes teachers are being hired by so called businessmen on salary bases, teachers have no role in drafting fee structure of that institute nor they decide the working hours. Time of Guru dakshina is gone and I don’t want to bring back age old formula to treat modern sickness but, teachers of private schools must get a sufficient salary who are forced by incapable government sector to mental harassment by the hands of businessmen who own these schools. I expect Government to intervene and force private schools to strictly follow government pay scale for teachers teaching in private schools.

ghazala.arty@gmail.com

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