The nation has celebrated early this week the annual event of Teachers Day marked by the usual quietude. The teacher fraternity of institutions offering courses at higher levels of learning were far outnumbered by the army of their counterparts in primary, secondary and even at 10+2 levels, betraying the former section’s pre-occupation with issues unrelated to academics and their first charge of empowering the country’s youth to face the challenges of life. They seemingly continue to be unfazed by the repeated verdict of entrepreneurs, particularly in the country’s industry sector, that the majority (85 per cent or so) of the graduates emerging from Universities offering technical education are unemployable, a harsh-sounding verdict at that.
The British politician Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859) is often quoted by critics of colonial rule over the country for voicing the policy of liquidating indigenous culture via the education system under the English Education Act 1835. However, oceans of water has flowed under the bridge since that point of time to this day even as nothing concrete has happened to either revive the indigenous culture or create a system of education that can effectively neutralise Macaulayism.
Literacy in English among a considerably large section of the land’s diaspora and proficiency in the global lingua franca among those who have chosen to write essays, poetry, novels, biographies, travelogues, textbooks for use in schools as well as colleges, autobiographies, articles in dailies, research papers for publication in journals, both indigenously published and internationally valued and so on cannot be undervalued as a legacy of that much-maligned British Raj in the land. While the roadmap for the future of India’s education system is still to emerge, what with the plan to bestow sovereignty to Hindi as national language (Rastrabhasha) yet to be accepted in many regions of the land.
Schooling of their children through English medium as a sureshot option to increase the opportunities and chances of landing a job being the conviction of even the illiterate parents, those aspiring to become teachers are too obliged to place their faith in the language that nearly 65 percent of the world ‘s headcount communicate in. That concludes the tale of teachers.