Friday, September 16, 2016

Quota for teachers?

A PTI report warns that HRD Ministry intends to introduce caste-based reservation in teaching positions at IIMs. This move is as shocking as it is surprising. There are great teachers in all communities and castes; institutes are desperately trying to attract them into their fold. However, to compel IIMs or for that matter any educational institution to tweak their selection procedures on a caste basis is short-sighted.

Persons who belong to a caste that has suffered historically from social injustice need preferential treatment to enable them to overcome social handicaps. Such students obviously need to be helped through quotas. Extending quota system to teachers,however, is a self-defeating exercise that is better not experimented with. Students belonging to any caste should not be denied the opportunity of being taught by the best teachers simply because such teachers belong to a caste that is already statistically over-represented in the teacher community. Similarly, students should not be forced to be taught by a teacher simply because the teacher is from a particular caste.

It may be politically expedient to introduce the quota system among teachers. But there is no surer way to stall or slow down the progress of future generations.

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