Chemistry is a driving force behind numerous aspects of everyday life. A chemistry teacher can be a guiding force to help students understand all the facets of this branch of science — from understanding product labels to performing complex laboratory experiments.
However, it is well known that teachers in India face a number of issues despite their profession being amongst the noblest in the world. A chemistry teacher may come across several such problems, including insufficient pay and improper classroom and laboratory equipment. In addition, many teachers are overworked. This begs the question, what is the current situation of a chemistry teacher in India, prospective or current?
Chemistry is a subject area that governs several aspects of day-to-day life. Although students deem it as a very specific branch of science, it has a wide variety of practical applications; it can help consumers understand what is in the food they eat, the water they drink, the medicines they consume, the clothes they wear and so much more.
A chemistry teacher, therefore, has a greater purpose that lies beyond the syllabus. They need to make sure that their students understand the essence of this "central science", thereby helping them make informed decisions in life.
Today, a chemistry teacher has a wide array of opportunities to help them achieve greater heights in imparting education. There are a number of scholarships, fellowships and grants awarded for exceptional performance in the science field. These allow worthy candidates to pursue academic excellence and as teachers, guide their students to do the same.
There are also platforms for teachers to share their interest and fervor with regard to the subject. An apt example would be the Association of Chemistry Teachers (ACT). On their official website, they write, “The Association of Chemistry Teachers was launched in 2000 to serve as an apex national body of chemistry educators to promote excellence in chemistry education.” Teachers are given many open grounds to speak their mind on education and on the system that is in practice. There are also several seminars, workshops and conferences to supplement a chemistry teacher’s knowledge of their subject, thereby giving them the chance to add valuable detail to the coursework they teach.
Teachers, irrespective of their field of specialization, are notoriously underpaid in India. Teaching is undoubtedly one of the most noble professions in the world but very few opt to move into this profession due to the unwarranted salaries.
The salary of an average chemistry teacher depends on several factors including qualifications, experience and additional certifications. It is not unheard of that teachers, irrespective of the subject area, are underpaid in India. This is particularly true in case of rural cities. As a result, many high achievers and passionate teachers refuse to take up a professional in the educational field. Needless to say, this situation could be detrimental not only for the students, but also for the teachers of the upcoming generations.
Teachers in India could earn between ₹9,000 and ₹4,000 based on the aforementioned parameters. This range could vary across institutions and is dependent on many other factors that may be specific to an establishment.
Specialists in every field are necessary to impart accurate knowledge to students. In many schools, specific branches of science are taught by teachers huddled together under the title of a ‘science teacher’. However, for students to be inspired by their teachers, they should be able to interact with a passionate and intellectual educator.
Other than classroom teaching, many more opportunities have opened up for online educators across a variety of platforms. Talented and driven teachers are always a necessity to train the citizens of the future.
Teaching is a profession that requires unending dedication and determination. Though there are several issues that are raised regarding the cons of moving into the field, it is undoubtedly the profession that has the most significant impact on the world. A passionate and resilient teacher, teaching chemistry or any other subject, will always have a place to take up in the sphere of education.