In this article there is a comparison being done between the school teachers 9one of the most respected and honourable job in the society0 and the politicians (one of the most disorganised and unpopular profession). A normal human will always tend to think- What is the link or the basis of comparison between a school teacher and a politician as they both are completely different characters? The basic link between a politician and a school teacher is ‘corruption’. We don’t need to speak much about the politicians but the school teachers are also corrupt!
It all starts with an incentive. An incentive is a button, a lever, a switch that guides an action. There are 3 types of incentives – social, moral and economic incentive. The problem occurs when one of the incentive replaces the other. There are many cases when a change in incentives have caused problems.
There was a case in Israel day school. It was observed that everyday 7 to 8 parents came late to pick up their kids. Those kids were taken care by a teacher who had to stay after the working hours. The school authority planned to impose a fine of 3$ if the parents came more than 10 minutes late. This was done to
reduce the number of parents who came late, but instead it turned out that the number increased! After imposing the tax, there were 20 parents coming late everyday! Yes. Why not? 3$ was too cheap! If these parents kept their kids in the crech, it would have costed them about 100$. Now, if the authority impose a
fine of 120$, the number would decrease significantly. Here, the economic incentive has replaced the moral incentive. The parents would have picked their child not because of the moral responsibility but because of the economic loss. Surely, no problem would have occurred if the parents have realised their moral responsibility.
Another case was witnessed in the field of medical sciences. There was a huge demand of blood donors but the demand wasn’t totally met. The hospital authority implemented a reward of 10$ for the blood donors. Ironically, the number of blood donors decreased significantly. This research was carried out by an economist – Sir Steven Lewitt and he concluded that this was because the social responsibility was replaced by economic incentive. People thought that the suffering and pain they went through was more than the money received. If the authorities further increased the reward, then the demand may have been met but
this would have increased killing. What if the people donated animal’s blood? The social responsibility to donate blood in order to save lives of people in society might have fetched a better and safe result. The response of people towards incentives is phenomenal.
Now, coming back to the teachers, the incentive of today’s school teachers is not to educate the children but to earn money. Their demands have increased significantly and the schools have provided them all the power with a great increase in their salaries. The salary should be enough to fulfill all the basic and daily needs but not more than that. We cannot compare a teacher with a businessman. Remember the incentive for both the professionals are different. Teachers on one hand have an incentive of educating the society and businessmen have an incentive to make money.
The ill-effects of replacing social incentive with economic incentive in the case of teachers is that people are now opting this profession to earn money instead of educating people. As a result, the essence of teaching has deteriorated. Another important effect is the rise in greed and hence corruption. Anything and everything is not enough for a person having an incentive to earn money. It has been found that maximum teachers try to get their salary in cash instead of cheque. In a more better way, converting their
white money into black to get rid of the income taxes. A lot of teachers even give marks on the wrong answers and falls into the act of bribery. This is true. The change is one of the reason of illogical marking in papers which can cause both depreciation as well as appreciation in marks. This has a huge impact on the lives of many student.
We may look inside us and try to find out that why do we always think about politicians when we think about corruption. When the most respected profession is blooming under the shadow of corruption, why do we only blame the politicians to be corrupt? A big question indeed.
The idea of such a comparison is not to blame or criticise the teachers or to support of speak in favour of the politicians. The idea is to – “be the change what you want to see in others”. We don’t always have to blame the politicians when the evil lies in us. Even the auto-rikshaw drivers don’t follow the meter and we happily provide them the extra money encouraging corruption. The leaders leading the nation are amongst us. Had the teachers realised what the real incentive to become a teacher is, the education of the society would have been better and this would have produced leaders and politicians who are honest.Everything is interconnected. We must realise our own mistakes and try to kill the evil inside us. This will surely make our country and the entire world a better place to live in.
Inspired by Freakonomics
Respect to Sir Steven D.
Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
From the Editor’s Desk