Dec 22, 2010

Value of good teachers!

Are teachers relevant? The question is horrible in nature. But here in India, are they seen as relevant? In the last 60 years though literacy has gone up, it would be difficult to claim if people are any better educated? Haven't we all, at some time, felt that good teaching can improve a lot many things?

Check this paper on Value of Teachers. (Got the link from Greg Mankiw's blog. One more fine blog to read).  

This one is one of the finest and most relevant economic papers I have read. Though my economics knowledge is limited, I find this paper relevant, more relevant to our nation India than to the U.S. where the author has researched and published this one. 

Quality in teaching in India varies as much as winters in Siberia and summer in Central India. You see a very high standard in institutions like IITs, IIMs, mediocrity in a very large band in between and absolute chaos in a small but substantial percentage of schools. Unfortunately the mediocrity and chaos keep the majority back for their lives in our country. Rural landscape in India has problem of mass absenteeism and this has to do with issues of pay and lack of incentive in opting teaching as a full-time occupation. The paper addresses these and many others issues, only that it is with U.S. in purview.

But we Indians would do well to push some of our economists and policy-makers to find the root-cause of malaise in education sector. We have to fix this soon or be left behind. 


income.portfolio said...

I question the school of thought that IITs, IIMs have very high standards.

I tend to believe, the entrance to these institutions is so competitive and limited opportunities, that only a well rounded individuals are able to break-in. Have you seen a non-commital bad seed or student who wanders in just for the heck of it? The fact that whole bunch is cream of student populution, these institutions get a name.

Other way to look at it is, in all these years of existence, what have IITs and IIMs done as an institution? nada! Nothing has come out of them, whether it is influencing policy, influenicing thinking, influencing businesses, enabling new businesses?

Point is put those students out of IITs and IIMs and probably is they will succeed even without them.....

Siddharth said...

Compared to their peers in this country, IITs and IIMs are miles ahead. The things are tough on global scale.

And the intake filters are always tough. It does not matter which country. I am thankful we have these institutes where recommendations and jugaad don't work.

Can they improve? Yes they can. Will the students succeed without them? Some may but they will all miss some of the finest lessons in their lives.


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