The Times of India | Amrutha Varshinii | TNN | May 1, 2017 |
CHENNAI: It was 2008 and Kaviya Janani had a plan complete an engineering course, get placed in a blue chip company and scale-up in her IT career. Almost a decade later, she is looking for vacancies of teachers at private schools a job swap she feels will insulate her from the nasty surprises of the economic slowdown. A quick chat with city schools reveals this isn’t a one off case. More and more engineers are inquiring and applying for teacher posts. This trend is because, experts say, “an unforgiving spell of engineering recession” that once promised rapid growth in the IT sector has thrown up its hand towards engineers. They are now looking for “job security” in the teaching profession. Chitra Prasad, correspondent of NSN Group of Schools, says there have been an unprecedented number of applications for CBSE and Matriculation schools from engineers. “They have all applied to teach higher secondary level physics, chemistry and mathematics,” he says.
Several other city schools have also confirmed such a trend. “Many women engineers specifically, who have quit the IT workforce are turning to us for opportunities. We have understood that this may be a more secure option for them as women employees,” says Reita John, principal of SBOA Matriculation School. Besides the general pressure of corporate layoffs, she says women engineers are further affected by breaks in employment from shifting cities to postnatal breaks. But even an engineering degree amd years of working in a large company may not be enough to be good teachers, they echo. “It’s not that easy to become a teacher, just knowing the subject. They have to be undergo formal training and qualify in our classroom demo sessions where we get a feel of how they can handle young students,” says Prasad. Education activists concur. Padam A Narayanan, director of Change India, says the `engineer turned agriculturalists’ trend witnessed over the years may just be seeing a new iteration in this `engineer turned teacher’ wave. “Most IT professionals have back end experience and perform mechanical tasks for the initial years of their career. There is no guarantee they retained subject knowledge, as they’ve had little room to apply it,” he explains. While calling the Teacher Eligibility Test a must for these applicants, he suggests they join training institutes. “The Montessori training institutes that have sprung up recently, focus on teaching methodology, learning process and handling a classroom. Even if they’re teaching a high school class, this kind of training is crucial for these ‘engineer-teachers’ to know how a real classroom works.” – Courtesy