Saturday, June 15, 2019

Elevating the teaching profession by motivating teachers

Many of us who had lived through the late 20th century would agree that teaching used to be considered one of the noblest professions in Bhutan. Until 1990s, to join the teaching profession was a matter of pride and honor because the society had a huge respect for teachers. When I was a student, I had many friends who wanted to become teachers in life, not for any additional monetary incentive, but for the love and respect they would enjoy from the society. Even my late father had wanted me to become a teacher because he too knew the nobility of the teaching profession.

But today, it is sad to know that our teachers no longer enjoy the respect they had enjoyed decades ago. There is no more pride in joining the teaching profession. Every year, we see many graduates joining teaching not because they are genuinely interested to become teachers but because they had no other choice. Even when I registered for Civil Service Common Examinations in 2005, teaching was my last option. I would have gone for teaching only if I had not qualified for Postgraduate Diploma in Public Administration.

When I just look back, so many questions race through my mind as to what killed the motivation that had once pushed so many bright students to become teachers or how did the teaching profession lose its respect and prestige in the society over the years. Despite various initiatives of the government to retain good teachers, we continue to lose hundreds of them every year.

The recent decision of the government to give the highest allowance to teachers has therefore come at the right time. It is hoped that this special incentive would go a long way in attracting and retaining genuinely interested and dedicated teachers in the system, as well as restoring the respect and dignity our teachers had enjoyed in the past.

Although the recent pay hike for teachers and health professionals has triggered some critical debates on social media, I think teachers really deserve the highest teaching allowance, not because they work harder than rest of the civil servants, but because people are not motivated enough to join the profession. In fact, I feel the entry-level grade for teachers should be increased and this teaching allowance should be merged with the basic pay so that it would contribute to their provident fund and retirement benefits when they resign. We can definitely have some of the most dedicated and competent teachers in our schools to nurture and guide our children if we have enough incentives in place to motivate them. If our teachers are motivated enough to do what they are trained to do, the quality of education will never be compromised. I hope that this special raise in the salary and teaching allowance would motivate all our teachers to go even out of their way to educate our children and secure a bright future for our nation.

2 comments:

  1. Congratulations Mr. Amrith on your noble thoughts. Even I was of the same opinion that teaching profession be given priority with high entry grade than other jobs. Definitely intelligent and brighter group won't mind joining the profession seeing the higher entry level grade instead of allowances. I don't think the system of giving allowances is a permanent thing in any society. Hope, governments coming in line may tackle the issue gradually substitute higher initial grades for teachers than to attract people with temporary allowances. Thank you sir for highlighting this issue for the benefit our fellow teachers.Emaho !

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    1. Thank you so much for seconding my thoughts la... Keep following this blog of mine and keep encouraging me la!

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