Tuesday, 31 July 2007

Schools-Who needs appraisal ?

Ankur's post on the state of Schools in India prompted me to get my dad's opinion on improving the sitution in the Govt. School.
This is one of his pet topics as he was closely associated with management training for a long time.
So here goes....


Performance appraisal :
1. Scholar's performance
2. Teacher's performance

Of these two I would rather prefer the second as more important in view of the fact that our objective at present is to improve the educational system in institutions esp. Govt. institutions.
While the scholars' performance is being apprised, by various means , and from time to time this system of apprisal is being updated and revised , the performance of the teachers is given scant regard .
Some of the higher institutions such as IIMs do have a performance appraisal system for teachers in the form of feed-back in standardised formats .Even these formats are not tailored to individual subjects but are generic in nature and therefore the efficacy of these formats is doubtful. At the same time the other institutions do not even have such rudimentary feed-backs and tend to shy away from apprisal of any kind.
Therefore if the remuneration of the teachers is linked to performance by some acceptable form - acceptable to both the teachers and the taught - the educational system per se will see some light at the end of the tunnel.
However care has to be taken to fine tune the apprisal system itself periodically. This can come about only if we set up an objective group of persons who have a stake in the system and this can be achieved only by giving wide publicity and inviting comments from the public .


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updated


While it is true that the teachers are being increasingly diverted for other 'works', ostensibly for "pulic" purposes, the fact that the education per se is given a go-by and nobody seems to object to this. A typical example is that the teachers were given TARGETS to "catch" victims for sterililization surgeries under the family planning programmes; and so is the case when every election crops up be it the panchayat level or the parliament level. The irony is that the teachers do not seem to protest and seem to be happy to get away from their primary jobs.

In my personal experience I have come across the crass attitudes of the teachers even when they are well and regularly paid. All this is because of the fact that the teachers' performance is not apprised in an objective manner. Nor are they accountable.

I would like to quote an instance that I personaly know. A 400 two-roomed rural school building was built. Although the buildings themselves could be and were built in record time, many were not brought underuse since they were not being taken over by the teachers. The matter required probing so that any changes in design desired by the users could be incorporated. In most of the cases we could find that the teachers were of native of and resided in nearby villages/towns. They were all commuting to their jobs by motor cycles. Consequently a rainy day did not see the teacher at the school. The objection to occupying the buildings was that there were no ramps leading into the class rooms and the teachers insisted that they would only park their mobikes inside the class lest the mobikes be meddled with by the children and surprisingly no sanction was forth coming of construction of the ramps. AND EDUCATION AND EDUCATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE WAS FORGOTTEN. This prolonged for a couple of months and both the construction wing nor the teachers were prepared to bring the stalemate to an end. Seeing the pathetic condition, an innovative solution was found by involving the local villagers who by contribution of material and/ or labour provided ramps to enable their wards to be housed in better class rooms.

Such instances are numerous.
Similar instance can also be quoted from the nation's capital. A group of officers from other states were to be taken around to show the achievements of the Union Territory in school managements. The officers who were to take the guests around Delhi were the ones who were supposed to periodically inspect, supervise and advise. But surprisingly the 'guides' did not know their way around; in one case they even took the officers to a gate of a school which was locked up and the neighbours around on enquiry revealed that the gate had not been opened for almost a decade and that the a small gate from another street was being used.

If such are the approaches to education where are we?

26 comments:

Ankur said...

in a lot of states the teachers do not get their salary in time... they often have to wait for months at a stretch.

then a lot of teachers get pulled for non teaching works like election duty....

hence on an average teh morale of indian teaching staff is very low (esp when employed by govt)

the first thing to be done is to increase the morale... guru devo bhava... restore their lost pride and u will see miracles.

Voracious Blog Reader said...

In a privatized school, the teacher's performance is monitored by the Principal or the school's management.

I am wondering whether it is the same with the Government funded schools.

When a student shines (due to her own intelligence or because of the Teacher's ability), the school is praised for the knowledge it imparts on its students. Depending on this, the Teacher is also remunerated or given a pay hike.

In the case of Government funded schools, what is the scenario? Could this be a factor if the answer is not in the affirmative?

Voracious Blog Reader

prerna said...

In Delhi, in govt. schools the teachers are paid a much higher salary than the private teachers, still most of them are not interested in teaching. Their behavior with their students is very bad. You visit a govt. school during working hours and you can't believe your eyes. Everybody is having fun.Nobody is interested in teaching or being taught.

B. Ramana said...

I agree with Prerna. It is quite good conceptually to link teachers' remuneration with their apprAisals, but this can happen only in the private sector. This is another area of spectacular failure of State-controlled activities.

Sowmya said...

hi sree, Nice post :)

Teaching is not like other professions. In fact, I can call teachers as sculptors, specially for the pupils, who shape the students to make changes in their educational and interpersonal environment to erase the ignorance and give suitable support for them to mould as a unique individual to plan, obtain and derive maximum benefits from the kinds of experience, which they give, will enable the students to discover and develop their potentialities in their life.

As far as our govt is concerned, they appoint the teachers who have done B.Ed with some master degree. But the overall personality of a teacher is equally important to shape up the students. The teachers should undergo the personality test before they get appointment as a teacher in a govt school. And this can also be applicable to the pvt sector too.

The personality test can be done to eliminate the following areas in a teacher’s personality. Below Average Performance, Irresponsible, Untrustworthy, Powerless Egoism, Financial Indiscipline, Useless Approach, Unconditional burst of negative emotions, Hurting attitude, Mismanagements, Lack of Integrity and Unhygienic.
It is highly responsible profession and a teacher’s personality can be a great cause for developmental growth of a student as well as disaster of his personality.

Augustin said...

Hey,Sree - Good analysis by you and interaction with you dad.
Let me tell you all my views.
You know teaching profession is a noble one. There are still people who love the job and being dedicated. My point is if a kid can study well, he/she can do well even if he/she studies in Govt schools.
How many of us go and thank our teachers who taught us in schools? How much money is our Govt spending on us for our educations?
Do you think by just having good teachers alone making one student a brilliant?
Is it also possible to have all the 100% of teachers dedicated and committed even in top schools?

I have studied in Govt School from 1st till 12th from a village and now I am doing well. I also know only a couple of teachers were so good and the rest were ordinary. But did I fail? It all depends how we see ourselves and understand the situation in the house and put ourselves in studies. The parents play a major part in inculcating good habbits, dutifulness, ordeliness, commitment nature to a person. We all try to emulate our Dad or Mom.

OK, good old days, there used to be an Education officer visiting schools and askign questions to pupil to know whether the particular teacher is good or not. That happens in once in a while. It is very difficult to have the system in place for a country with more than 100 crore. But the major support or reformation has to come from the public/parents/students not just by Govt alone.

Sree's Views said...

Hi Ankur , Partner , Prerna , Ram and Sowmya..
I posed ur comments to my dad and I have updated the post with his reply to them.
Thanks ,guys :)

Thiru said...

Hey sree

Thats is a very nice post!

You have pointed an important issue to be addressed by Govt, which I guess it is oblivious of in the first place. Consider other professions, such as a doctor finds it responsible of the lives of his patients, a civil engineer is responsible of his construction not to collapse and take peoples lives, and all other service oriented professionals are expected to be responsible and accountable for providing their services in an appropriate way. But its only in the Teacher profession I feel there is severe lethargic attitude and minimal or no accountability. Mostly am speaking of Govt. schools. People strive hard to get the teacher job and once they secure it they perceive it as a life time secured paying job without any pressure or need to contribute to the actual demands of the job.

I believe the Teachers role is to bring the best out of any student starting from the Roll No.1 to the last. Here I would like to point an important learning step for a baby, a baby can start crawl,stand and start walking on its own even without its mother's intervention. But it cannot start learning to speak the language and talk meaningful sentences without its mothers intervention. It is this kind of intervention provided by the teachers to the students in learning to live a life to cherish and contribute to the nation.

I believe Govt. has to create a educational branch to appraise the performance and accountability of Teachers. Since the Govt. do monitor the way its money being spent in various govt. organization, why not monitor the Human resource (Teachers)for which Govt. spends, to see that it is performing efficiently in creating the country's valuable future human resource (students). I would expect a person with conviction like Mr.Seshan (former election commissioner) to be heading such monitoring organization. (oops my comment has become too long)

a very good post Sri... keep them coming.

Augustin said...

Hey Sree Paatti,

I forgot to mention one thing.
If you want to appraise the teaches and bring a reformation in to our education systems, if a Laloo Prasad kind of person is given the task with full empowerment. Remember, the treformation which he has done for Indian Railways (unbelievable). (I want someone to start a post on how it was possible to make Indian Railways a profitable with having the largest no of employees in the world - may be some tactics). Centralisation of all the Govt schools is the first step for this.

I do not understand that Kerala which used to have 100% education ratio, are not that doing great in economy, social reformation, etc. (May be communism is to be blamed).

Adiya said...

correct dhaan inga.. we are still revolving in a client-server relationship in any form of learning, business etc etc..

its getting changed to 360* view approach. most of the coporate world, few edcuational firm doing it. u can that very clearly in Pilani kind of colleges and its been implemented in other south indian colleges also.

other tangiable information is to have a open, un-breakable student carrier history in a universtity. to more crap TC, etc.
here is some pictorial view of it.
if a kid enters in to education vanavasam then kid will have an identity created. from that time onwards his attributes, standards should be plotted correctly and any point of time parents should be able to view their kids knowledge in a graphical way. by this way we can generate automatic feedback about a teacher as well like.. by class by teacher metric kind of scenrio. sounds more computerized solution ( thats what i know ) .. but it should workd..

basically we need to come -out of dhorna - ekalaya framework to more agressive educational carrier. ( and learn to respect teachers thats not in the picture itself its mandatory ).

B. Ramana said...

At the risk of sounding repetitive, I maintain that it is only with the privatisation of human activity that dynamism and initiative will come forth and enrich education. I disagree with Thiru's proposal that more Govt reforms are needed. No more money should be sunk in the morass of State education.

Jeevan said...

The educations are little worst in schools that are away from cities. Well educated looking for a job in higher institutions or private schools (for high salary) and only those finished the 12th and did some bachelor course are appointed in govt. schools. In some schools I have seen shelter for cows that was inside the school compounds in a rural school. In presenting teachers the local politics involve there powers on whom to comes.

Thiru said...

// I maintain that it is only with the privatisation of human activity that dynamism and initiative will come forth and enrich education. I disagree with Thiru's proposal that more Govt reforms are needed. No more money should be sunk in the morass of State education. - Ramana //

I agree with what privatization can do to enrich education. But we have to consider the situation in India, nearly 27.5% live below poverty line (ie., around 300 million people, out of which 75% are from rural areas!). It will take around 20 to 25 years to alleviate poverty in India if everything goes well! Hence until then these 300 million people will be unable to send their children to private schools, in other words they cannot pay for education. If one can come up with a suitable model to motivate the private sector to educate this poor section of India for free, then I whole heartedly welcome the privatization of school education in India to enrich its quality. Until then these private sectors can cover only the section which can afford (rich and majority of middle class).

Otherwise it is the responsibility of Govts. to carry the burden for next 20 to 25 years by enforcing appropriate reforms.

Sree's Views said...

comment from my dad


I think that we have opened a Pandora's Box in terms of assessing the status of the present education system.

Many questions do arise, the primary being whether being literate can be termed as educated? If so, how come the most literate state in the country has not shown corresponding growth in economy?

Is being street-smart better than being literate?We find that even the old lady - not educated by society's standards - selling greens on the street is faster in adding and multiplying than most of us who have mastered algebra and trigonometry. ( Most of the sales persons in major shopping malls abroad compulsively require the calculator for adding up the bill for even 2 or 3 items) Are we preparing our wards to be comfortable with what they do in and with their lives?

Are we choosing people who are attitudinally tuned to teaching, for this profession?

Sree's Views said...

Hey Thiru ,Agustin, Adiya,
Ram and Jeevs..

Thanks for ur response :)
vartaa ;) see yaa !

joy said...

hey nice post sree,but dont u think the teachers are paid too little n asked to do too many things other than teaching....their pay can hardly support a family in many instances...when u cant take care of ur family well does anyone work well...i agree there is no assesment on how they work nor the good ones appraised or the bad ones punished...only when they r paid well..i mean every teacher not just the professors n the extra burden cut down can they work well...of course a good weeding process is also required as in every field

B. Ramana said...

Sree,
From your Dad's comments, I propose that he start a blog, and I will be the first to blogroll him!
:-)

R.Prabhu said...

The post is good, but the point is why should it be restricted to Teachers, Scholars etc.

Nowadays, many private schools have spawned in every nook and corner and some of them are run by specific clans or communities. There you cannot expect talent to take its place. All that takes precedence is, whether the candidate for the post of the teacher belongs to their clan. I have seen this happen in most Christian schools (those even funded by Govt), esp in the school that I studied. I am not against Christians or anyone for that matter, but the point is talent gets clouded /eclipsed by what the western world calls racism

They give priority to a particular sect of people denying the chance for good talented people. That is also the main reason for many tuition centres spawning up too!

I guess the schools of such sort create a situation that is called by a constructive euphemism, good standard of living for everybody, because they provide opportunities for people to start their own tuition centres.

To quote Bharathiar,
"Anna Sathiram Aayiram Naatal, Aalayam Padhinaayiram Naatal,
Andam yaavilum Punniyam Kodi
Aangor Yaezhaikku Yezhutharivithal"

Indha punniyathai yaar ippo seyya munn varugiraargal. Ellam Kali kaalam

Anyways, nice post!!!

nitin said...

The post is a step ahead..of tackling the under performance of the teachers..

I would like to say..first check "Teacher Absentism" in rural schools...
If there are no teachers arnd..appraisal is a last objective...
I read in some book that in rural india, teachers are hardly visible during school hrs..

A teacher is the one who can teach..we had professors who had big degrees but zero teaching skills..Its the skills to teach that matter..

and an appraisal in this regard would surely help...

We used to say"usko bahut kuch aata hai..per sikha nahi pata"..

:-)

Aboorva said...

Nice post. I agree with prerna. Teaching profession is a noble one but now it changes as a Business

"Happy Friendship Day"

Who finds a faithful friend, finds a treasure.

Ravi said...

Hiiiiiii Sree,
Vandhutomla....

A very thought provoking post indeed. Our primary education - especially in government run schools has a long way to go. I think the situation there is just like any government establishment. There is huge apathy towards the students and the role they play. Appraisal would be good but just as in any government sector, I wonder how effective that good get. Probably penalising the teachers would results in large scale strikes leading to further jeopardy and as it is, the student-teacher ration is highly skewed.

B. Ramana said...

Just checked into this blog to see where an ardent fan of mine went... is she around somewhere?
:-)

தூயா [Thooya] said...

guess i can't make a comment here..have no idea about your schools..

B. Ramana said...

Hey, Sree! I have moved my blog here.
Wordpress romba bettera irrukku.

Sree's Views said...

B. Ramana said...
Sree,
From your Dad's comments, I propose that he start a blog, and I will be the first to blogroll him!
:-) //
yeah....u blogroll him alright :P but who is to carry the lappie around typing and asking him his opinion :P
count me out :P

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R.Prabhu said...


All that takes precedence is, whether the candidate for the post of the teacher belongs to their clan. //
Prabhu...I am not sure if that is the case these days....schools are in want of good Maths and Science teachers. There is tremendous pressure on schools...but again I am talking about private schools.

To quote Bharathiar,
"Anna Sathiram Aayiram Naatal, Aalayam Padhinaayiram Naatal,
Andam yaavilum Punniyam Kodi
Aangor Yaezhaikku Yezhutharivithal" //
wow...idhudhaan unga speciality :)
Neengalum Thiruvum azhaga thamizhla oru eduthukaatu solluveenga :)

Indha punniyathai yaar ippo seyya munn varugiraargal. Ellam Kali kaalam //
illainga...I have hope :)

Anyways, nice post!!! //
thanks :)

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nitin said...


I would like to say..first check "Teacher Absentism" in rural schools... //
very true !

A teacher is the one who can teach..we had professors who had big degrees but zero teaching skills..Its the skills to teach that matter.. //
I always felt the teachers who were genuinely interested in the students taught well.

We used to say"usko bahut kuch aata hai..per sikha nahi pata".. //
not a word , Nitin , not a word :))

:-)

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Sree's Views said...

Aboorva said...

Nice post. //
thanks Aboorva :)

"Happy Friendship Day"
same to u :)

Who finds a faithful friend, finds a treasure. //
I am lucky in that ... :)


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Ravi said...

Vandhutomla.... //
unga mela ellarum kovama irukkom :(
Prabhu ungala pathi enquire pannaar.

I think the situation there is just like any government establishment. //
that is the main problem...they bask in the feeling that their's is a permanent job.

Probably penalising the teachers would results in large scale strikes leading to further jeopardy //
yeah...idhu vera :(

I have'nt checked ur blog yet..will do it :)

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B. Ramana said...
Just checked into this blog to see where an ardent fan of mine went... is she around somewhere?
:-) //

YES !!!
I AM RAM'S ARDENT LOYAL FAN .

btw..where are the candies u promised ?
;-)

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தூயா [Thooya] said...
guess i can't make a comment here..have no idea about your schools.. //
u r right , Thooya !
Even my American friends cannot understand our school system .

but I wonder why kids go to 'kumon' classes in the US if their education system is perfect.

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B. Ramana said...
Hey, Sree! I have moved my blog here.
Wordpress romba bettera irrukku. //
ahaa...nice template , great look :)

pazhaiya kanji , pudhu kinnam ;-)
just kidding :P adikka varaadheenga !


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