TEACHERS STRIKE IN TAMIL NADU – WHAT STUDENTS SAY ?
A number of school and college students from all over Tamil Nadu participated in the essay competition and submitted their views.
The following five students were awarded prize in the competition
1. K. Sharone Snowfana - Annammal College of Education for Women, Tuticorin
2. M.Rahul - Loyola College, Chennai
3. A.V. Malavika – Saveetha College, Chennai
4. Nirosha Abdul Malik – Thassim Beevi Abdul Kader College for Women, Kilakarai, Ramanathapuram
5. K. Nandhini – G. Venkataswamy Naidu College, Kovilpatti
Around 55% of the students disapproved teachers going on strike. 20% of the students said that strike may be justified to some extent. The remaining 25% of the students were not able to give their conclusive view either way.
The highlights of the views of the students are given below
1.Teachers must be role model and not strike prone :
Teachers play the most important role in moulding the character and behavior of the students and therefore , teaching is a noble profession and the teachers must be role model for the students. Under the circumstances, teachers going on strike for whatever reasons is inappropriate.
2. Why not arbitration?
While teachers may have grievances, the government creating a condition where the teachers have to resort to strike is also condemnable.
Under the circumstances, a permanent arbitration committee of independent and eminent people should be constituted , where the grievances of the teachers can be presented and the views of the government heard and the decision of the arbitration committee should be binding on both the teachers and the government.
3.Are teachers insensitive to the need of the students ?:
Teachers’ in the government run institutions went on strike, where more than 90% of the students studying belong to lower income group who face variety of social stress due to family circumstances and poverty conditions.
The teachers in the government run educational institutions should understand that their responsibility to student community is much more than the teachers in the private institutions, since the students in the government run institutions need much more understanding and support from the teachers.
In the circumstances, teachers in government institutions have exposed themselves to the criticism that they are insensitive to the need of the poor students.
4. Salaries & perks :
Normally, students do not think about the salaries and perks given to the teachers . However, when the teachers go on strike due to salary issues , students inevitably think about the salaries of the teachers and compare it to other professions.
Teachers in government run institutions are certainly not under paid or face poverty conditions to justify their going on strike.
5. Bad role models :
Students look forward to teachers as their role models and most of the teachers are remembered life long by the students. Teachers , instead of being role models, have set up bad example by their strike conduct. They should have been more responsible and careful.
6. Timing of the strike :
Teachers went on strike near the examination time obviously to create a crisis like situation and force the government to yield. They could have agitated during the holidays or after the working hours.
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