TEACHERS TAKEN A BACK!
By Stephen Wilson
Moscow, Russia -- "Forget about providing decent conditions to support a family.
Five thousand rubles a month is not enough.... I'd also advise
you to marry out of your profession. " stated the Deputy Minister of Education in the Irkutski region of Russia in a
speech to graduate teachers from Irkustoki State University.
The speech was hardly inspiring or reassuring and one would have expected something much more inspiring than informing teachers that a man who took up teaching was rendering himself unmarriagable.
The students were startled and even shocked by the cynical tone of the speech. They considered that the official was insulting them.
Evgeny answered that the students had not understand him.
He informed them that he would be happy to re-meet them. However, the damage had been done. The students stubbornly refused to meet up with the official. This is not the first time officials have put their foot in it. On previous situations some ministers advised teachers to marry rich businessmen and the Prime -minister Medvedev told a teacher 'to go into business'.
It is a small wonder trainee teachers often don't begin the first year of teaching never mind pursue a long term career in teaching. The statistics make appalling reading. Only from 5 to 15% of graduates of pedagogical institutes go on to pursue teaching. So the government asks "why train teachers set on not taking up the profession?"
One of the reasons why so many teachers drop out is that the conditions of work are too demanding. An inexperienced teacher is thrown into a classroom and overworked by a demanding schedule double the recommended number of hours. Much of the work those teachers are doing is unpaid,
constantly humiliating and involves a lot of mindless instructions and paperwork which represents an insult to intelligence. Fresh graduates are arriving at schools to find their work has increased because other teachers have been made redundant following optimisation. Younger teachers are being asked to replace more experienced teachers less likely to work in such intolerable conditions.
So why do students enter those institutes in the first place? Perhaps it is because they are not so difficult to enter compared to other institutes but also because it is still prestigious and impresses employers who are not always headmasters.
However, a survey on Social attitudes indicates that teaching as a profession has risen in prestige and that many parents would like to see their children take up teaching. They might be disappointed. Just as there exists a huge reservoir of ex-journalists so you come across so many either ex-teachers
or would be teachers!