Comparing the educational quality in the past century and this century, technology has taken an active role in supplementing learning sources. This has made the learners and teachers much comfortable and relaxed to a point that the quality has dropped without notice.
One of the main factors that can be attributed to have led to this is the mode of payment to the teachers. More often than not, teachers are treated like civil servants who are employed on permanent basis. Their salaries are not in any way affected by the quality of work produced. As a result, many have recoiled to watch the quality of education drop to alarming levels (Barbara, 6).
After learning of this alarming trend, most governments have realized the need to pay their teachers according to their individual performances. Though this has been tried and assessed in many sectors of the economy, the education sector appears to lag behind. As the other civil servants are signing performance contracts which will dictate the amount to earn, teachers are out vehemently opposing this idea (Barbara, 10).
There are several reasons that provoke my mind into thinking of teachers being contributors to poor educational quality in our public and private learning institution. These factors form the basis of my argument but let us first explore some of the facts necessary to understand in the education sector.
The first issue affecting the education sector is the influx of learners in schools. Following the millennium goals, an influx of learners has been recorded in schools while the number of teachers remains constant or even drop. This can be attributed to the governments’ decision to avail elementary education to all learners at school going age. With the high students to teachers’ ratio, the quality of education has dropped greatly (David, 6).
The second issue that affects the education system is the high inflow of private institutions in the education sector. This has come to help reduce pressure on public schools but at a cost of subsidized education quality. With this, the public school teachers have felt demoralized leading to less concentration in class work and teaching profession. Most of these institutions offer a better pay to trained teachers who in turn run away from public institutions into the private ones. The owners of these schools are also teachers thus the number of teachers still reduces in public schools.
In a bid to have elevated glory all through, private institutions have adopted a general tendency in spoon feeding the learners. This is a technique of teaching the learner on how to get good grades and get employed but not acquire knowledge and skills. As a result, the number of learners performing excellently is very high compared to the public schools. After joining public high schools, these learners are unable to cope with the situation since there is no more grilling. The learners perform poorly in their terminal exams making their poor performance be blamed on the teacher even if the root cause of the poor performance is elementary school attended.
Though these are some of the main factors contributing towards poor educational standards in the world, teachers themselves are in way to blame also. In my opinion, teachers’ salaries should directly reflect their individual performance and contribution towards the educational sector. The issue of performance contract should be enforced whereby each teacher will have to accept terms of working on contract where personal effort will be easily recognized and rewarded.
In any form of business, the best way to encourage and attract customers is by use of incentives. These ‘gifts’ are just baits to get the intended job done. Likewise, the government should give incentives to their teachers. The best way to give incentives is my personalizing recognition. The best way to personalize recognition is by use of performance contract. Once all the teachers have signed performance contract, it will be easy to monitor their teaching productivity and general performance in the profession. This assessment should be done continuously and after a specified duration, the teachers are summoned for a meeting where the best performers are recognized with an immediate gift hamper in form of cash and consequential salary rise. Promotion may also be done as part of personal effort recognition. In this way, every teacher will operate in a competitive manner resulting in improvement of education quality in the whole region. The teachers will also find it difficult to divert their attention to other income generating projects since school inspection can be carried out any time. All in all, the performance contract will work as laws governing professionalism in the education sector (OECD, 12).
The second fact that makes me support this idea is the trend in education today. Teachers have been quoted on several occasions to act as sources of discouragement to the learners. For example, a teacher might have personal problems and when in class pass the anger to the learners. As a result, the learners lose interest in that specific teacher’s subject. By enforcing that the teachers are paid according to their performance which will be gauged by student performance, the discouraging teachers will not have any loopholes to hide and continue with their demoralization. This is because they will be followed and asked to explain the poor performance in their subjects. As a punishment for the professional misconduct, they will have to get less (OECD, 14).
The other aspect that makes me support the idea is the competitive approach that some private learning institution put in place. Some private institutions uses competitive approaches to enable their teachers perform greatly in their profession. One of these measures is salary commission which is directly proportional to the performance of the class. As a result, these teachers appear to be paid according to their class performance (OECD, 6).
Still in support to this idea is the competition that the teacher will create in his/her class when the pay will be directly proportional to performance of the students. Like any other person, teachers will anticipate to increase their pay thus will use all possible means to reach their target. This will result in teachers being hyperactive in class work and closely work with the weak students to enable them catch up with the rest and perform better increasing the overall salary of the teacher (OECD, 8).
However, creating a direct link between the teachers’ salary and student performance might cause more harm than good to the society. This will result in teachers paying for weaknesses that they are not part of. By analysis, most scholars in the contemporary societies have been brought up as the unquestioned since they are the only children in eh family. As a result, they become too troublesome and uncomfortable to live with to a point that even schooling is a problem. Even if such learners are in a class, the teacher will have to do more than necessary in an attempt to help such a learner thus by limiting the salary of a teacher to the performance of such a learner will be direct injustice to that teacher (Glen, 26).
The second category of learners that will make teachers decline to sign the performance contract is the technical appearance students. This class of students makes what is generally a technical appearance in which the learner come to class only for a few days in a full term. The reason for being absent is not in any way valid. Such a learner is bound to perform poorly at the end of the day. Taking such a person as the measure of what a teacher should earn is just a way o saying that a teacher has become one of the most discriminated persons in this society. Teachers would not agree to such a condition since it will just be a scheme of denying them their rightfully earned money.
Closely related to this is the current level of social evils in our schools. Looking in to schools, the levels of drug use and other intoxicating substances has risen to questionable rates. With such learners, teachers can’t make to match their professional input and performance of the learners. This would also act as a major determent to teachers in accepting performance contracts (Johnson, paragraph 5).
Lastly on factors that might make teachers reluctant on working under performance contract is the increased need for monitoring the learners. It is practically impossible for teachers alone to make it in monitoring the learners. Thus, even if the teachers try their level best to make performance better, some other factors away from school might pull the learners back (Johnson, paragraph 3).
On my personal statement on this debate, I support the use of performance contract to save the quality of education in our public learning institutions. This is mainly because the world relies heavily on education which should not be watered down. The government should increase investment in the education sector since it will be investing in its future. The teachers who should feel opposed to the performance contract should look at it from an objective perspective not subjective. However, to enable this strategy, some rule like class attendance and personal recognition of the teachers should be put into consideration. Teachers should also be ready to work and compete competitively with their private counterparts and exhibit their expertise in that field.
In conclusion, education sector is a vital part of the economy and life in general. Therefore, any activity aimed at promoting and enhancing education acquisition should be greatly supported. That is the reason why I find it necessary to support performance contract of teachers like other civil servants for these contracts have helped many sectors of the economy to develop and grow.
Jonson F. Teachers performance and salary relation correlation in Singapore 2005, retrieved from
Barbara M. Making schools work: New evidence in accountability reforms. Washington DC: World Bank press, 2010 print
OECD, Establishing a framework for evaluation and teachers’ incentives: Considerations for Mexico. OECD press, 2011 print.
Glen E. Planning educational facilities: what educators need to know, Rodman and Littlefield Publishing press, 2009 print.
OECD, Evaluating and rewarding quality of teachers: international studies. OECD press, 2009 print.
David M. Managing teachers’ appraisal and performance: a comprehensive approach. Route ledge press, 2001 print.