“The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn… and change”-Carl Rogers. As the saying goes, education is important but the person who can bring a change with what he or she has learnt has actually gained knowledge.
As mentioned by Britain’s leading expert on school recruitment, there is a noticeable crisis of trainee teachers in some of the important subjects included in the school curriculum. It is an alarming situation faced by a number of schools in the U.K.
The right to education act encourages each and every individual to educate themselves and many unprivileged get to realize their dream. But a large number of children especially the handicapped are passing out from school without learning anything fruitful. Teachers are considered as the pillars to success of any students throughout their career. They play a vital role in shaping the career of a student and motivating them to reach their goal in life. The failure of teachers to play their part not only hampers the career graph of students where they obtain knowledge without any effective outcome but it also obstructs their pathway to a bright future. Teachers are touted as the determining factor of a student’s academic career. Despite this fact, there is a global deficit both in the number and quality of teachers. This fact is proved by UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS) which shows over 1.7 million more primary teachers need to receive universal primary education by 2015 replacing 5.1 million who will leave the profession during this period. With the inclusion of demand for pre-primary and lower-secondary teachers, the figures will go on increasing. In many developing countries, inspite of the growing number of education system, there is a subsequent shortfall of proper knowledge and lack of apt skills and training among teachers. The minimum required qualification for entrance into teaching profession is also directly or indirectly responsible for the degradation in the quality of teachers. Lack of sound subject knowledge makes it difficult for the teachers to explain it to the students and that limits the learning outcome of children.
Professor Jon Howson, the founder of TeachVac, an independent vacancy-matching and monitoring service for education professionals after conducting a research into the labour market for teachers had said that there would be a crisis in the supply of teachers in 2015. The largest deficit in teachers was detected in London and the home counties where the pay is very meagre. According to the TeachVac report, among 18,704 vacancies in England, 3,583 were in London. The numbers establish the fact that teaching as a profession is losing its popularity in the job sector. The reasons might be many. While the increase in the salaries in the private sector is 4% while that of public sector is restricted to only 1%. It also makes teaching a less attractive career according to many. However with the improving economy, there has been a constant effort to draw fresh graduates to the profession especially for key subjects like maths, English, physics and chemistry.
The challenges faced by the education sector to produce effective teachers are quite a few.
Choosing the right people:
In order to improve the quality of teachers, there must be an up-gradation of standard in the recruitment process. Those candidates should be chosen those who have the required skill and knowledge to teach. Over the years it has been seen that many people have entered this profession not out of love and passion but out of compulsion as there were no other jobs suitable in the market for them. If you can recruit the right people to teach, students will no more pass out of school without gaining any proper knowledge.
Proper training to teachers:
Many teacher training colleges fail to deliver proper subject knowledge and pedagogical skills that play a vital role in shaping the career of a child. Teachers are passing out of training colleges without acquiring the skills to teach. Proper training will not only improve the quality of teachers but will also draw more candidates to this profession.
At the end of the day salary becomes an important factor in recruiting quality teachers. Low salary demotivates teachers to give their 100 percent as it directly affects their lives. They often look for part time work for earning more which reduces their effort and dedication to work. In order to recruit well trained teachers, a hike in salary is essential and for that there must an increase in the investment. These are the deciding factors in detaining well trained teachers and their commitment to the job.
Equal distribution of teachers:
In many countries, qualified teachers prefer to teach in urban schools due to the facilities available there. As a result the schools in the rural areas are left with unqualified, untrained and inexperienced teachers who fail to impart proper knowledge to the students. This even leads to withdrawal of students from rural schools as they fail to meet the basic learning needs of the children.
The present scenario of the education sector in the U.K. especially London is going through a rough patch. Teachers are the most important fighters in the battle to provide equal opportunity to all. They are considered as the intellectual life of the nation. If no steps are taken to bring a change and improvement in the factors that are stopping bright students from entering this job field, the education sector is in real danger. Immediate steps must be taken to realize the trans-formative form of education which will make the goal of quality education to all one step closer.