Sunday, October 30, 2011

The crisis facing the Teaching Profession and solutions are needed urgently

It was interesting and purely coincidental that my previous blog entry discussed leadership training as the first event yesterday was just that topic being implemented at a local school and I was fortunate in talking to two Principals.

I was astounded to find out that there are a huge number of vacancies in the school district that remain unfilled due to the lack of trained teachers, something I had already found out, but was more shocked when he mentioned the numbers of teachers due for retirement in the next 5 years. Though people can continue after 55 which is the retirement age, which I consider absurd, when a person is at his experienced prime, but due to this age many are waiting to hit it to retire as they are so fed up with the politics that has pervaded schools and they feel they are unable to do their jobs to the best of their ability.

We have to first address the retention of good teachers. We MUST find out the reasons for their wanting to leave their vocation and try and reduce the need. This is a priority, as once retired they either become tuition teachers and make a bundle of money or some other thing they have been dreaming off and are a loss to the education system. It is also more than likely that some of these best trained teachers join the private teaching sector further depriving the public sector.

Once that is addressed then my earlier blog entries on the need to increase the teacher training facilities and intake must take priority. They can work in tandem. When one looks at the problems facing the Education sector one has to go down into the root causes. The interference in transfers, the way promotions are handled, the way the personal issues of teachers are not addressed and the respect that teachers used to hold in society gradually diminishing are but some of the causes of this mess.

I have not seen any reference to this massive social problem in any form of media, which is an indication of their lack of awareness of societal problems due to the blinkers they wear, which is an indication of the paucity of their educational oversight and complete lack of qualification for the jobs they hold. Here is some advice to reporters in Sri Lanka. It is not the news you see that you should report. You can make news by going behind the news. There are NO good investigative journalists today. You can be the first. Delve into society find out what ails it and make the public and therefore the lawmakers aware of it and we can come out of this with a lot more satisfaction that we really did our bit for our society so that the future of our country which is what it is all about is protected and enhanced.

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