GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA
It is despicable that some members of a few noble professions are making news for all the wrong reasons. When a profession does not match with a person’s vocation, he/she cannot blossom in his/her respective field. Being a teacher is a highly-revered profession. Divinity was thrust upon teachers, especially in rural India, at a point in time. As years passed by, dilution of the quality of teachers became glaring. Suitability and sustainability went for a toss. The other day, in Uttar Pradesh’s Sikandarpur Sarausi, in Unnao district, a government English teacher put the entire teaching community to shame. When the District Collector visited her school and asked her to read a few lines in English, after the students failed to do so, the teacher struggled to pronounce some English words. Unnao’s is not a rare case. Any citizen of the country would testify to the sheer truth that English language teaching in the country is substandard. A basic degree holder is often thrust with the enormous responsibility of hammering the intricacies of English language into the minds of children. The problem in villages is abominable. The private school managements do not deserve a pat on the back because the situation there does not differ much. The ‘influence’ virus, overlooking merit, is probably the dominant reason for the existence of more ‘Hinglish’ teachers and less ‘English’ teachers. Socioeconomic considerations, while picking candidates as teachers, is also a factor contributing to poor quality English teachers. The quality of English in students, tutored by half-baked teachers, is bound to suffer as they grow into adults. Some of these students may come true to the proverb ‘the child is father of the man’. All this does not mean there is a dearth of youngsters, who can covetedly don the English teacher’s role. Far from it. The zeal, commitment and seriousness that have to be associated on the part of the government and authorities to search for one such teacher is acutely missing. Fluency in English cannot be compromised in English teachers. The ability to read, understand, speak and communicate in English is the bare essential. The cardinal sin committed by them is to use big and complicated English words and trying to ‘convert’ their mother tongue into English. An effortless English speaking student is an eloquent teacher and the healthy cycle continues.