Teaching as a profession has undergone a revolutionary change. The goal of `education for all' has provided the challenge of reaching out to the 47 per cent illiterate in the country. In recent years, the focus of educational planners has been on literacy, adult education, extension education and distance education programmes to bring learning within the reach of all.
However, as great a challenge also lies in the changing role of the educator towards the already literate within rapidly evolving demands of modern society. Good teachers are the key to any worthwhile educational reform. National prosperity is linked to good education. For education to be wholesome, emphasis must be placed equally on the development of a well-rounded personality as on the honing of the learner's innate intellect and aptitudes.
The Indian education system leaves much to be desired. A yawning gap exists between pedagogic progress and its actual translation. The image of teaching too, has suffered Teachers are criticized for falling standards of achievement and discipline. Many admit to feeling over-stressed underpaid and under-valued.
Yet there are still many people who believe in teaching as a career. For them, the rewards measure up to those of any other more glamorous and better-paid profession. In India, a career in teaching continues to be regarded as a noble profession. The satisfaction of having sparked the light of knowledge and dispelled the clouds of ignorance in another human being, old or young, is unrivalled.
Other reasons for opting for a career in teaching could be interest in the subject, secure professional career and regular annual vacations. Besides, liability to transfer exists only in the case of private, state and central educational boards that run a chain of schools spread throughout the country. Fringe benefits such as accommodation at nominal rent, subsidized fees for the children of teachers, pension and gratuity are often granted.
Teaching as a career has always attracted large numbers of women. It offers them an opportunity to do a professional job during school hours and term time, although the normal workload may extend far beyond the formal end of the school day. Teaching can also be a second career for those who have retired from professional service.
In recent years, education has become big business. The tribulations in obtaining a seat even at the elementary school level, the amount of money charged as school fees and the mushrooming of private tutorials and institutes offering coaching classes for professional short and long-term courses indicate the various demands of education today.
Professional occupations in the area of teaching include: Teachers at the elementary school level. Trained graduate teachers and post graduate teachers at the Secondary and Senior Secondary school levels; Lecturers in colleges, Readers and professors in universities; administrators, supervisors, consultants and researchers.
It helps to enroll in an employment exchange for placement and recruitment by a State/Central Board of Education Application to private schools can be made in response to their advertisements. In universities and constituent/autonomous colleges, the University Grants Commission rules of recruitment of lecturers, Readers and professors are
followed. Here again, it is necessary to apply in response to advertisements.