A school considers many common components while determining the fee, right from tuition fee to activity fees, infrastructure fees to books, stationery and uniform fee etc.However, are these the only fields where a school should invest the amount collected from the parents of a child for his quality education? No! There’s something big missing out here. Something, missing what makes everything mentioned above less effective.
Let’s understand it with an example. Suppose you have the best car of the world. It has the perfect look and feel, perfect comfort, all great features and everything else about the car is perfect but just one thing that it doesn’t have an engine. Is it a car worth to have? Say you have the best engine installed in it in the beginning but you don’t invest any amount of money in servicing it, maintaining it or upgrading it. No oiling, No greasing of the same from time to time. What’s expected to happen? The performance of your perfect looking car is bound to go down over time. It might miss to offer you a good mileage, a good speed and hence eventually defeat the purpose of owning a car. A teacher is to a school what an engine is to a car. A teacher in fact drives the school. Imagine a school has the best infrastructure, the best amenities and the latest technology but no good or efficient teacher to teach. Will all other offerings be able to make up for what is missing in this case? Never! Such a school can never provide quality education. A teacher is a pillar of education and hence to ensure the constant strengthening of this pillar is indispensable. Constant teacher training and development is what a school must invest in to ascertain that the education being delivered to the children is standard and meeting its purpose. Consequently it’s expected that teacher education and development should be one of the most important components of the school fee. As it would generate the amount to be invested for building the competence of the most important resources of a school i.e. Teachers. But in most of the cases it isn’t so. The competence of the teachers is taken for granted. It’s often forgotten that changing times need teachers who can instantly adapt to the change and teach their students according to the current needs and requirements.
So what should be done? Every school must ensure that whenever it’s deciding the fee structure for the upcoming academic year, it should add another component to its fee which is ‘Teacher development fee’ and it should account for at least 2-3% of the total school fee. And this amount should be invested in developing the skills of the teachers in different domains like communication with students and parents, teaching methodologies and understanding their classrooms and students etc. This will ensure that the school fee includes all the areas where the school must invest in order to provide a quality education. It should always be remembered that if the teacher is efficient but the amenities offered are less, the child WILL learn but if the teacher isn’t efficient but the school provides best of amenities, It is a purpose defeated.
Moreover, the government would never object to this addition as they themselves spend hundreds of crores on teacher education and hopefully would understand the importance of having skilled teachers.