India celebrated Teachers’ Day just a couple of weeks ago to acknowledge the contribution of teachers to the society, and shaping the future of tomorrow’s pillars. Teaching is a noble profession that requires sacrifice and dedication. Teachers inspire, instill the passion to learn new things, ignite the imagination of the students, and above all mould them into good human beings. But it seems many teachers in government schools in Nagaland are not diligent in discharging their duty. At least that’s what the lawmakers of the state think. Both the ruling and opposition parties have agreed during the ongoing state legislative assembly session that the government school and college teachers “need to do more.” Describing the profession of teaching as honourable, the chief minister of the state Neiphiu Rio appealed to the House to exert a concerted effort in wiping out all the proxy and ghost teachers who are availing salaries without doing their duty.
The issue should be real and grave as it is not very common for both the ruling and opposition parties to speak in one voice. This display of concord is rare even during emergencies and natural calamities, and we have seen our lawmakers resorting to political slugfest when the people of the state were dying due to floods and landslides caused by the monsoon rains. And yes, the claim of teachers in government schools not doing their duty well is real, in fact a big one that needs to be addressed immediately. There are hordes of schools and colleges in the state that are run mostly by proxy or substitute teachers. This means many employees are shamelessly enjoying salary from the government without working, or by paying a meager amount to somebody with no accreditation. But why don’t these people just resign and give others a chance to serve the society if they don’t want to work?
People are spewing venom at the government, and crying corruption while some are pledging to end corrupt practices, which is good. But the irony is that most people are entangled in this corrupt system. Government school teachers, who draw salary without working or through proxies, are a disgrace to the profession, which is supposed to be noble. Not doing their duty is not only an injustice to the students and the society but also to qualified people who really want to impart knowledge to the new generation. If those who are supposed to infuse the virtues of life to the young minds are dishonest, insincere and corrupt, we are doomed.