Do you wonder about the gap between the degree of proficiency schoolkids are supposed to have in various subjects and what they actually know? To crack this mystery, look at another gap—the mismatch between what teachers are supposed to be paid and what they actually get. And think of the logical corollaries—the quality that can be attracted to this profession for such pay, the levels of demotivation among those who join and, most significantly, the effect it has on their teaching.
Anita Kumari, a teacher of a small private school in Gurgaon, has been signing a monthly salary receipt of Rs 36,545 for the past four years, but actually drawing Rs 16,000. On paper, the school conforms to the scales prescribed by the Haryana School Education Act; in practice, it pays less than half.