Job is a major part of a person’s life after he earns a degree or a diploma. It supports him both morally and economically. So it is important that one chooses his career wisely and as per his interest. While I was pursuing B.Tech from BIT Sindri, some of my friends encouraged me to join the field of teaching. I also gradually realized that I could do better in this field than any other. So I decided to opt for a teaching career. Following the required process, I prepared for and qualified GATE, and secured a place for M.Tech in Computer Application at ISM, Dhanbad.
Fortunately, the masters course was very much teaching oriented which supported me to pursue my interests further. I acutely observed the different ways of teaching followed by my talented teachers. For instance, from some it was the way they taught, while with others it was the dedication. They were crucial in supporting me throughout my two years of masters. From some, I learnt to be strict up to a required level and from others, to be friendly with students. All those teachers are my idols and I try to emulate them as I move forward in my professional life.
After spending a year at ISM, gaining teaching skills from some of the best teachers of India, I assumed the role of teaching assistant and thus the responsibility of teaching the brightest minds of this nation – IIT-JEE and GATE qualified students. I put in my best efforts in tutorial classes and labs. Every class was a new challenge for me, another step towards my goal. I couldn’t have got a better platform to enhance my teaching skills.
With the confidence ISM instilled in me, I could then teach anywhere. But I joined VVIT Purnea which is a private college on purpose. This college presented me with an opportunity to enhance its network based infrastructure and to develop the college website. It was an enriching experience.
I can say that I have seen the state of a variety of engineering colleges in India as I have been a part of a state govt. college (BIT, Sindri), a central govt. college (ISM, Dhanbad) and a private college (VVIT, Purnea). Government has increased the number of engineering colleges in the country but I fear the quality of education hasn't followed the trend. Private engineering colleges are in the hands of business-minded people who in many cases do not have any technical background and their prime interest is in amassing profits. They may have business acumen but lack a drive and vision for improving the education system.
The tumbling quality of education is not only the result of business-mindedness of people in the education system but also a dearth of enthusiasm in youth in joining this field. Sadly, today students do not have a good mindset about teaching as a profession. The days are gone when number of students would aspire to be teachers.
I often think why only a few students from highly reputed colleges of the country go for a teaching career. As per my experience I think one of the biggest reasons is the compensation offered. In this era of recession it would not be wrong for students to prefer a job with an astronomical compensation over being a teacher and not earning as much. Another reason is the lack of competition in this field. On the other hand private companies provide a highly competitive environment which helps in the growth of an individual. Risk, I believe, makes people work hard and perform better.
To overcome these problems, I would suggest that there should be a respectable increment in the salaries offered to teachers so that teaching at least becomes a satisfactory career for students. Stringent standards should be put in place for hiring teachers. To develop a competitive environment, there should be periodical tests to brush up the competitiveness of the field. Online education should be practiced to keep pace with the students. Uploading of lectures and assignments on the college server and keeping track of submission and completions from there itself can be an effective assist to classroom teaching. Any education system is formed of both students and teachers and an improvement will have to include efforts from both.
In the end I would say that teaching is and will always be a royal profession because in this field we are responsible for enhancing the skill set of the human resources of our country by giving our best to them. This is the only job where you have to impress people less qualified than yourself by improving their skills. You have to work for them and not for your boss. Along with the satisfaction that you attain in shaping the future, you also get enough personal time to follow your hobbies and improve yourself only if you use it efficiently.
The author is now pursuing his Ph.D. from IIT Indore.