Those days of dedicated teachers are gone! The stalwart teachers like Acharya P.C. Roy, Brajendranath Seal, P. Ghosh, Dr Radhakrishnan who abjured material comforts and dedicated themselves to the field of teaching remind us the rosy aspiration of what teachers should be.
Nowadays, though there are still some exceptions, it is the practice of a section of the teachers’ community to be different from their predecessors. Such teachers take up the teaching just as a profession. Their aim is not to make a man but to make money as much as they can. They are not satisfied with their salary though it has been increased to a considerable amount in a school or a college. To add to their income they coach the students privately at their residence or at a tutorial home. Of course, this system of private tuition is not supported by the majority of the teachers and the few who were involved in the system are now giving up the practice — somehow forced by the departmental guidelines. Teachers’ active participation in politics is another cause of degradation of the standard of teaching nowadays. One takes much more interest in politics than in teaching. Many teachers are now active members of some political parties. Some of them are MLAs or MPs. They encourage the students to be involved in direct politics and to be utilised as a weapon in the political game for gaining their ends. As a result, we often find mad excitement and indiscipline among the students and the schools and colleges are turned into a hot bed of politics.
At present, a number of teachers pose to be a pedant. They are fond of parading their knowledge to their students. But they have not the depth of knowledge that characterised their predecessors. In their private life too they cannot say, “Examples are better than precepts.” To them, students are mere Roll Numbers. Thus, on the whole, the students painfully feel the vacuum of ideal teachers in the academic arena. Yet we must say that it is the result of the socio-economic pattern of today. We have to admit it, but our expectations are more than this to see our teachers as nation-builders in spite of all such obstacles.