OVERCOMING NEW CHALLENGES

Imparting education is the noblest profession and teachers being more than the guardians of children play the most vital role in moulding and transforming them into best citizens of the nation as a result of which the teachers have been duly honoured by being called as the builders of nation. India can boast of having the best teachers as compared to any other part of the world. However, given the new challenges faced by the teachers in the present era, there is a dire need to bring a paradigm shift in the mode of teaching in consonance with the present day exigencies and demands. It would not be out of context to mention here that the chal- lenges have multiplied due to some black sheep among the teaching fraternity having turned this noble profes- sion into commercial activity after being influenced by the materialistic race in the world today. It is acknowl- edged by one and all that the teachers by dint of their determination, devotion and profound experience influ- ence and transform the immature minds of the youth.
The future of the nation is fashioned by him through the process of education. However, in the existing scenario it becomes necessary for the parents to ensure that they don’t leave the education of their wards in the hands of incompetent teachers. They must not forget that the world of tomorrow will be born from the schools of today. While the teachers in the past were held by all in the highest esteem, in the existing scenario that esteem seems to have lost all its sheen. The reason is quite clear that teachers who used to be the trustees of common welfare in the society have turned into entre- preneurs mostly with the sole aim of minting money.
The mushrooming of tutorials across the towns and vil- lages bears testimony to the fact that teachers like any other component of the society, prefer to be beneficiar- ies rather than benefactors of the society. Analysing the factors responsible for this change one can clearly find that the materialistic race in the society has left the teachers at the lowest rung of the ladder as a result of which they are now looked down upon in society with their economic condition becoming simply miserable.
With the technological leaps during the past few years one can easily visualize that the classrooms of tomor- row could be entirely different from those of today. The role of teachers will be complex and full of challenges, because dependence on the teacher will gradually diminish for an individual learner with the television, telephone and computer taking over thus self-learning and distance education coming into vogue. To over- come these new challenges there is a dire need for the teachers to get acquainted with the latest teaching techniques that are mostly dependent on the technolo- gy. Facing these challenges and failing to keep up with the latest trends due to meagre salaries as compared to other professions, the teachers’ fraternity seems to be depressed and in frustration. However, the situation is not so depressing as yet and the importance of the role of the teachers has to be paramount in all the times to come for which it is necessary for the teachers to themselves become the agents of change. Teachers need to adapt themselves to the new trends for which even the government has a vital role to play especially on the economic front. This places enormous responsi- bilities on teachers who mould the character and minds of the new generation. The government should come up with a result oriented policy for the teachers to enable them to shift from the traditional methodology to latest modes of teaching. In the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, now a Union Territory, during the last three decades both government administered as well as private run educational institutions have failed miserably in providing value based quality education.
Therefore it is high time that the government prioritizes the issue and teachers take the initiative to be the agents of change and overcome the new challenges of the present times.