Sunday, 15 March 2015

“Is Academia a Refuge of the Rejects?” - Professor M.S.Rao

“It requires a lot of courage to become an educator as it is not for everybody. If a parent is unworthy, children are spoiled; if a doctor neglects his duty, the patient dies; if an engineer performs poorly, the infrastructure collapses; and if an educator makes a mistake, an entire generation is ruined.” – Professor M.S. Rao

It is often heard in Indian educational institutions that academia is a refuge of the rejects which means those who don’t get any opportunities in industry or rejected by other professions become academicians ultimately. I would like to share my views on this topic as I myself served as a professor in various educational institutions.

The standard of Indian educational institutions is often criticized by many people especially about the methods of teaching, crafting of curriculum and execution of programs. People often blame the methods of Indian education for dearth of employability skills in Indian students. Very few dare to criticize the teachers and teaching profession because teaching profession is highly respected across the world especially in India where teachers are respected next to mother and father.

General perception is that most educators enter into teaching profession if they don’t find right opportunities in industry or in their chosen areas. Some of them join as a stopgap arrangement and keep looking for employment offers in their passionate areas as teaching profession is not a lucrative career. However, there are a few educators who are passionate about teaching profession and pursue teaching as a career to make a difference in the lives of students.  There are innumerable challenges associated with teaching profession. Educators are hardly compensated monetarily. They are hardly respected by students. Presently students demand a lot from educators and educational institutions. They don’t compromise with their expectations. They don’t tolerate any inefficiency. They want better education, facilities and employment offers.  They demand the best of everything. As employees demand more from their employers and children demand more from their parents, students demand more from their educators. Hence, it is a big challenge for most educators to rise up to the expectations of students. Previously students respected educators because there is sanctity attached to teaching profession. Presently, students respect educators who deliver their goods effectively. Hence, challenges are high in teaching profession, and only those educators stick to teaching who are passionate about their profession and students. Those who are not passionate about this profession quit this profession when they get better employment offers elsewhere to try their luck there. Rest of them remain in this profession with an eye on better employment offers elsewhere.  

It is essential to make this profession a lucrative career to get the best and retain the right talent to improve education in India. Secondly, educators must be equipped with right teaching tools and techniques to remain relevant and competent in the classrooms. Thirdly, they must be provided with right academic ambience to pursue research in their passionate areas to enable them to acquaint with the latest knowledge.  Taking these timely steps help educators remain competent and confident and earn respect from students to continue in this sacred profession.

“Your profession is not what brings home your paycheck. Your profession is what you were put on earth to do. With such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.” - Vincent Van Gogh

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Professor M.S.Rao, India
Founder of MSR Leadership Consultants India
Listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World in 2013
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