During primary school, students are often taught to write paragraphs with the headline “Teaching as the noblest profession of all.” Imparting necessary knowledge to the youth and guiding them toward an organised and prosperous life, teachers of any grade are thought to be the utmost respected and valuable bunch in a flourishing society. But unfortunately, for the last few years, the practicality of this profession in our country has been deteriorating in a quite shameful manner. Whatever might be the reason, instead of being regarded as the noble pursuit that it is, teaching has become one of the least desired professions among the young generation.
Why is Teaching Not a Practical Career Choice Anymore?
Zuhair, a graduate of a private university in Chittagong, recounts his story of dreaming about teaching since he was a little kid. Throughout his school life, he prepared himself specifically to achieve this aim in life. But as he entered university and started doing his research on the job market, he faced the harsh reality of being underpaid and undervalued in this once-noble profession, which compelled him to make a compromise in his once-desired career.
Many more young freshly-graduate students, like Zuhair, barely even consider teaching as a viable career option for numerous valid reasons. In an article published in The Business Standard, Syed Manzoorul Islam, a former professor of English at Dhaka University and current professor of English and Humanities at ULAB, conveys his disappointment in the decline of the moral aspects of teaching as a profession. According to him, “Teaching is measured nowadays not in terms of moral and intellectual output – it is no longer seen to be a profession dedicated to creating ‘enlightened souls’ – but against the number of GPA 5 certificate holders they turn out. The more a school produces those, the better its ranking, no matter what they are taught.”
Therefore, it’s no surprise when students these days don’t learn the basic moral values or practical traits to be respectful and responsible enough towards their fellow society members. The case at the beginning of the pandemic, where multiple senior teachers were bullied and insulted during online classes, is a disheartening example of this matter. Incidents like these, as well as other attractive job options, are making our younger generation less likely to pursue this respected profession over the years.
Why do Teachers Leave the Profession?
All things considered, it can’t be expected for freshly graduated students to consider teaching as a long-term career option when they can get any other corporate job with less workload and more salary. In fact, it was reported earlier this year that government primary school teachers will get paid based on the 13th grade, with salaries ranging from Tk 11,000 to Tk 26,500. Both experienced and inexperienced headmasters would get paid for the 11th grade within the same order. (Our teachers are underpaid and undervalued | The Daily Star) The lack of motivation and barely minimum entry wages add salt to the wound, hence creating a never-ending cycle of low-quality education facilities for future teachers as well as students.
When is World Teacher’s Day and Why is it So Important?
In recognising the 5th of October as World Teachers’ Day, UNESCO made a point of commemorating the rights and responsibilities of a teacher once a year. According to UNESCO, it’s not only a day to recognise the ways in which teachers are improving education, but it’s also a day to consider the resources they need to use their skills and vocation to the fullest and to reconsider the future of the profession on a worldwide scale.
The theme for World Teacher’s Day 2022 is “The transformation of education begins with teachers.” (World Teachers’ Day | UNESCO) So, it is now indeed high time for teachers in Bangladesh as well as around the world to be made one of the top priorities in national investment if we want to keep up with the era of knowledge and wit. Improving teaching facilities and ensuring better paygrade and benefits for the future makers of the nation would not only ensure the rising employment of skilled new teachers but also would make sure to give our senior teachers the respect and consideration they truly deserve.
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