This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Shruti Singh. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Being A School Teacher Is Glorious And Needs To Be A Mainstream Career Option; Here’s Why

More from Shruti Singh

By Shruti Singh:

If you were born in the 90’s and early 2000’s then you would perhaps relate to what I am about to write. Consider this as a trip down memory lane. Better still, once you’ve read this, take initiative and do something about it. For those who are still in school and reading this, you’re part of the larger hope pool.

School teacher

When I was in high school, my English teacher was brilliance translated into fun and intelligent sarcasm. She was every bit of your quintessential literature teacher with whom you could discuss boys, grades, and sometimes music too. It seemed that my English teacher was handpicked by a Unicorn (and by God for some), and I felt happy. She taught us much more than Grammar, poetic devices and sentence structure – she taught us life lessons. During one of our free periods, I asked her if she really wanted to become a school teacher, and her answer was positive.

Snap to 2013. While most of us were deciding on pursuing a fancy Master’s degrees in India and abroad, my best friend chose B.Ed. For some, it felt like an out-of-option decision. “Maybe she didn’t get through a good college for an M.A.” or “Teaching school students is a safe and easy career option. She’ll get free by 2:30pm while most of us would be slogging till 5 or 6.” These judgments were evident on people’s faces when we told them about her decision. This is how the tables have turned.

It is appalling how much we discourage ourselves, our friends, and our children to take up school teaching as a mainstream career option. The reasons may be varied. Then again, there always are varied reasons for everything. We’re sort of perfecting that art – to find excuses. It surprises and worries me when I hear parents blame teachers over children’s performance issues. One of the pressing issues since independence has been education. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index 2013, India ranks first on the primary education enrollment. That’s something to be proud of. We have come a long way to achieve this. What about the teachers? Are they adequately qualified? Will they be ready to change with time? While education is given the maximum space in public discourse, where have all the teachers gone?

There is an acute demand and supply deficit when it comes to skilled and qualified teachers in Indian schools. One of the highlights of the Right to Education Act was that the teacher-pupil ratio should be maintained at 1:30. For every 30 student, there should be one teacher. Is this being translated into classroom reality? That’s debatable. In a 2010 report, the UNESCO Institute of Statistics mentioned that the country will need 20 lakh new teachers by 2015. Do we have enough B. Ed enrolments to support this demand? The Central Institute of Education, Delhi University has about 200 students in its current batch of B. Ed, and not everybody goes on to become school teachers. They are attracted by administrative jobs in the government. Those who carry on with their jobs in schools, primarily women, soon leave due to maintaining married life, family planning, etc.

Statistics can be dug out from numerous sources. The need of the hour is to change the mindset. We need to bring back the days when being a school teacher was as glorious as being a senior manager at an MNC. Our society runs on romanticizing traditions, mythologies, and culture. To take these forward, teachers or gurus used to form the base of our knowledge. People wanted to be school teachers. That used to be at par with childhood ambitions of being an astronaut or a doctor.

Remember how we were taught that recycling water will conserve it for our future generations? Sincerely pursuing school teaching will have the same effect. We need to do it for them. It’s the domino effect – if your child is taught by a good teacher, (s)he will want to become one too. Teaching young kids is one of the most rewarding professions. “I feel that I’m actually bringing about change. It’s great when they learn what’s in their chapters, but it’s a moment of personal achievement when they learn beyond that. Even if its just a simple things as throwing wrappers in the bin. It feels like pure success whenever that happens.” Those are the words of my friend who will begin her career this May.

You must be to comment.
  1. Anirudh Rayasam

    While many people are choosing any career other that teaching, many other youngsters are taking up the role of a teacher in various NGOs that work towards the empowerment of underprivileged kids. And few are staying back as full time volunteers for these organizations, too. Good, skilled teachers who can connect very well with children are very important for the nation as it is they who will frame the future of the same. Although Children are the quickest learners, it is difficult to teach them, as one needs to become a kid to teach a kid. Also, parents nowadays are unable to find time to teach their children, a thing or two, and therefore, a teacher, who will also act as a mentor, is required. Teaching is a noble profession and kudos to all the teachers and to all those aspirants for believing in the fact that a better tomorrow will only come if we better the next generation. And special congratulations for your friend who is willing to become a teacher and to you, for letting us know. 🙂

  2. Gitanjali

    Nicely said! Wishing ATB to your friend as she begins her teaching career!

  3. Goldsmithzz

    After so much creepy things this is the nice article; and not only nice but a hope that things can work if we take right action. Teaching in my view is always a best profession for anyone who is enthusiastic for providing education and satisfy very human need of learning. I also have left my MNC job and now teaching in a local school of my town and I’m happy and feeling free as now I’ve time to read and learn those things which I dreamed for.

  4. Mohd Babar Shahid

    Teaching is not a mainstream profession simply because it is an underpaid one, and you don’t need much education to become a teacher. You can do a B.Ed in one year and you are good to go, as opposed to five gruelling years for a master’s degree. Secondly, you don’t finish at 2 p.m. You have to come home, mark books, prepare lessons, test papers, exam papers, report cards, update teacher’s diary, etc. Teaching is a lot of work, and teaching is hard work. Would you like to work as a teacher for 8-10 thousand a month as opposed to 50-60 thousand in a multinational company? Please don’t reply by saying that money doesn’t matter – it does. Thank you. 🙂

More from Shruti Singh

Similar Posts

By Ananya Anand

By Snigdha Gupta

By You're Wonderful Project;

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.









We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below