GRE Issue Essay 105
“A school or college should pay its teachers at the same rate in all disciplines, regardless of differences in salaries for related fields in the world outside of school. For example, entry-level teachers in mathematics and in the arts should receive the same pay, even if outside of school, math specialists earn a much higher salary on average than do specialists in the arts.”
Teaching is one of the noblest professions to pursue since one contributes to the society in a significant way as a teacher. However, there is no denying the fact that the financial aspirations of teachers also need to be fulfilled. Any disparity in the pay structure of people with a similar job profile is bound to cause dissatisfaction amongst the deprived personnel and teachers are no exception to that. Therefore, all the teachers of the same level in a school should receive the same salary irrespective of the subjects they teach.
Today we live in a materialistic world where money plays a dominant role in enabling a person to enjoy the luxuries that are available. Accordingly, a large number of students today are inclined towards undertaking courses that are likely to fulfill their financial aspirations. Educational institutions are also increasingly orienting themselves to offer courses that are inclined towards this growing demand. However, this does not imply that other subjects, such as arts have lost their significance as there are some students who wish to acquire qualifications in these streams as well. Additionally, the educational institutions are duty bound to promote the overall development of society rather than merely restricting themselves to the so called career oriented courses. The idea of different pay scales for different categories is perhaps the outcome of the perception that science is better than arts, which obviously has no justification. Students qualified in science subjects may be better suited for the needs of the industry in this era of technology, but subjects of arts do have their own significance in fulfilling the needs of the society. Hence, the teachers of arts play an equally important role in the educational system as the teachers of any other stream. Therefore, there is a requirement that they receive the same pay as their counterparts in other subjects.
Nothing could be more demoralizing for a student intending to pursue a career in fine arts than to see that his teacher is being meted out a raw deal. Moreover, if this trend of disparity in the pay scales is implemented, then it is likely that a lesser number of people would like to pick up a career related to teaching arts and this would lead to a lopsided proportion of teachers in varied subjects. Educational institutions may have to appoint teachers who are not well qualified for the job due to lack of well trained teachers, thereby diluting the standards of education. Teachers play a vital role in the lives of their students. The students look up to their teachers as examples to follow. The interaction between a teacher and a student leaves a lasting impression on the minds of the students during this crucial period. Therefore, a disparity in the pay amongst the teachers may have far-reaching consequences.
People with similar job requirements need to be compensated financially in a similar way. There is no justification for extending favors to a particular set of people on the basis of the subjects that they are teaching. A more logical approach would be to base the compensation on qualification, teaching abilities and experience. Disparity in the pay and allowances of the teachers not only indicates the preference for a particular set of subjects, but it also adds to the frustration of those who have been deprived. Hence, it is justified to provide the same salary to all the school teachers who are at the same level.