Tuesday, September 2, 2008

HAPPY TEACHER'S DAY - BUT...................

On 5th of September, we celebrate Happy Teacher’s day, on the birthday of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. May be, if Dr. Radhakrishnan is seeing us (from heaven...), then he will be very happy because we celebrating his birthday in the whole country. We, the Indians, are very much fond of these days, specially the children, because for them, it is meant for holiday, some of our school do more than that, they organize gathering in school campus and principle gave some lecture on the specialty of this occasion and off course about Dr. Radhakrishnan and his contribution in educational development in India.
But, Do we really care for this Teacher’s day and educational system in India…? Off course, official national policy is undoubtedly in favor of promoting education. Many programmers like ‘each one teaches one’ policy, essay competition on swami Vivekananda, and seminars on ‘importance of education’ etc.
But what about the other side…we have a country where nearly half of population is illiterate but which has produced the world’s second largest pool of trained scientist and engineers. A country invests more sophisticated software for US computer manufacturers than any other country in the world, and yet, in which there are at least 35 million children who have not seen the inside of a school.
In papers, approximately 290 millions students are attending classes somewhere in our country and yet, India has made only uneven progress in educating its population. Our national literacy rate officially stands at 66 %. UNESCO defines as illiterate person as one, who cannot, with understanding, both read and write a short, simple statement on their everyday life. By the definition, I fear that fewer than half our population would really qualify as literate.
While in kerala has a literacy rate of nearly 100%, Bihar is only at 44% (and has a female literacy rate of only 29%). No wonder, we are ranked 147th out of 177th countries measured for literacy by UNESCO.
The lack of resources to meet with the dramatic growth in population, we need to build a new school every day for 10 years just to educate the children already born. Thus, the universal primary education is available in the favor of fewer than half of India’s children between the ages of six to fourteen to attend a school.
India alone accounts for 35% of the entire world’s population of children who are not in school. It is true that, 61 years after independence, progress has slow. India spends less than 4% of its GNP on education (3.6% current amount) as compare to other countries which spends 25% of its GNP.
How we are going to meet the demands of 21st century, the information age, if half of our population cannot sign their names or read a newspaper. The world will be able to tell the rich from the poor not by GNP figures but by their internet connections. We have no choice, but to run in this race.
Our primary school system has become one of the largest in the world, with 150 million children enrolled. But let’s face it; we have sometimes focused on quantity rather than quality. Government has simply raised enrolment but without ensuring the quality and high learning education in schools. Thirty seven % of all Indian primary school children drop out before reaching the 5th standard. The illiterate population of India exceeds the total combined population of North America continent and Japan. So my friends please educate the children, because they are the future of tomorrow and they only will become the Teachers of tomorrow. So, celebrate the celebration of Teacher’s day.
Happy Teacher’s day to all of you…

Mohammed Farhan Khan

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