Discussions are always on what students want and as we have found in our surveys earlier, there’s a lot they want! Fountains on the campus to air-conditioned classrooms, they want it all. With Teachers’ Day just a few days away, our team hoped to discover some such desires of our teachers, too. Their wishlist is not shorter, though the needs are more basic.
What teachers want most are “more teachers”! That’s something that tops the list of demands of teachers everywhere, whether it be Ranchi, Jamshedpur or Dhanbad. Principals of Guru Nanak College and RS Morh College, Dhanbad, are unanimous that had they more teachers, the staff would not have been overburdened and more schemes could have been implemented.
“Due to dearth of teachers, we had to close our old NCC unit. The teacher heading it should be less than 40, but we do not have anyone in that age group,” said M.H. Khan, the principal of RS Morh College, adding that forget quality, they didn’t even have the bare minimum numbers required to keep things running smoothly. “I placed the situation twice before our Governor Sibtey Razi, but nothing came of it,” lamented Khan.
Madhumita Chandra, a Hindi lecturer at Jamshedpur Women’s College, agrees that the load on teachers is very high because of the poor student-teacher ratio. For instance, only two Hindi teachers teach over 600 students, she said.
Purnendu Shekhar, the principal of Guru Nanak College, Dhanbad, wishes teachers could get more support from the government. “It is depressing to see teachers and college staff members staging dharnas to protest against government discrepancies. Government should at least not deny what the teachers deserve,” he said.
While he stressed the need to be provided with well stocked libraries conducive for research, sports facilities and computers, he said government should also ensure regular clearance of arrears. “One would hardly wish to go home if the college library is fitted with modern facilities,” he added.
A.K. Jha, lecturer of history at LBSM College, Jamshedpur, too, stressed on the need of more technical support, like maybe laptops being provided at discounted rates. Besides, teachers also need the support of their seniors, said professors teaching in Ranchi colleges. They pointed out how as soon as a member of the teaching staff becomes a vice-chancellor, he starts lambasting other teachers. A.P. Sahu, a senior teacher at Ranchi University, said: “There is a need to construct guest houses at university headquarters. All departments should also be connected through INFLIBNET (information and library network).”
M. Feroz Ahmed, senior professor of zoology in Ranchi, feels the campus environment has to be worked upon. “It would ensure that teachers remain in colleges for long hours and not rush home as soon as classes are over,” he said.
K.K.Sharma, a science faculty at Co-operative College, Jamshedpur, feels that soon there’s going to be a even more serious shortage of teachers if proper facilities are not provided. He also feels the government, while framing educational policies, should involve them, too.
Zaki Akthar, lecturer of psychology at Karim City College, Jamshedpur, emphasises that government must ensure at least basic facilities to the teachers. “The teacher needs to be free of home worries to do justice to the job,” he said.
Research facilities are very bad and there should be more awards given for good papers published. Maybe, this Teachers’ Day, some of these wishes could come true!