“Noblest profession, but thankless job.” This sums up what Jamshedpur children celebrating Teachers’ Day on Wednesday think about teaching.
Children respect teachers but don’t want to take up teaching as a career. This was the bitter-sweet revelation of a recent nationwide survey by Greycaps India Private Limited, a leading quiz and knowledge service company, which asked 3,246 students of Classes IX to XII from eight cities, including 218 from Jamshedpur, on what they think about teachers in this “ever changing world”.
The other cities in the survey — conducted in July and August 2012 — were Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Lucknow and Pune.
While 3,246 adolescents first responded to a questionnaire, 200 were roped in to validate the findings with focused group discussions on the same questions.
Greycaps chief Giri Balasubramaniam, known as Pickbrain in quizzing circles, said his team carried out the Jamshedpur leg of the survey during a series of quizzes such as the Tata Steel inter-school event, JRD Quiz, IT Wiz and Tata Crucible.
“We selected Jamshedpur as a venue as it has stayed a simple city. Schools are traditional in many ways, but the quality of students has always been very high. Plus, we didn’t go to Patna or Bhubaneswar because although they and Jamshedpur show similar trends, quizzing activities are less in both and our team visits the steel city regularly,” Giri, who has been visiting Jamshedpur since 2003, said.
The findings busted myths and underlined facts.
An overwhelming majority, 78 per cent of students, felt teachers were underpaid. As a logically corollary, only 6 per cent wanted to take up teaching as a profession.
“One child summarised this smartly, saying that teaching was the noblest of professions, but sadly a thankless one,” the Greycaps chief said.
At the same time, Genext, at least in the survey, firmly nixed the worrying perception that teachers were irrelevant. The survey found 86 per cent of students had more affinity for teachers than parents.
Around 86 per cent of students gave a huge thumbs up to teachers for accepting them “for whatever we deliver”. “Parents were seen to be more demanding in their expectations from kids,” Giri added.
But 41.3 of the youngsters did want teachers to get in sync with the times, which included their desire to have e-savvy mentors who could connect with them on issues like social media. Tweeting teachers, it seems, sound like fun.
The survey findings will be given to Tata Steel education department and school principals who want a copy. “We took the survey as we wanted to understand what kids think these days rather than go by assumptions,” Giri signed off.
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