India is known for its great teachers. In the past, there were highly competent teachers. They were held in high esteem by all sections of the society. Even the kings and rulers paid great respect to them. They used to look up to their teachers for guidance and advice in the hour of crisis. In those days, teachers were the true benefactors of society. They were the trustees of common welfare. History is full of examples that great decisions of vital importance were taken by kings on the advice of their teachers or gurus. Alexander, the Great was indebted to his teacher, Aristotle for the knowledge and advice given to him from time to time. Thus teachers in the past enjoyed a place of esteem and reverence.
However, those times have passed. Now the teacher does not hold as much esteem as he did in the past. Teachers have lost their old glory. Now they are looked down upon in society. Their economic condition is also miserable. We know that our country is economically backward and the standard of the masses is very low. Burin this system, the teacher stands on the lowest rung of the ladder.
Moreover, the nature of society has changed. We have become materialistic. In this society, only those people command respects that have power and money. Thus an illiterate minister gets more respect than a highly qualified and scholarly teacher. The society of the past which respected teachers has vanished. The poor teacher does not enjoy much prestige in the society of today. The proliferation of private schools, which are merely teaching shops, is another reason of the decline of a teacher's prestige. These schools employ teachers at very low salaries and the teachers cannot give his best to the students. The teacher suffers in many other ways also. A person who fails in getting a job and is rejected by his employers, blames his teachers for his own failures. In this way also, the teaching profession has been disgraced. As less attention is paid to education these days, he teacher has also lost prestige.
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