Short Termist and Instrumental

Short Termist and Instrumental
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Teaching is not only an aptitude but also an art that can be refined by practice of the same and perhaps some professional training. But, apparently not so for Jammu and Kashmir’s Health department. Non-teaching doctors working in the J&K health department have been declared eligible for teaching positions in new medical colleges, so that the institutions get Medical Council of India’s recognition for MBBS courses from this session. The Health and Medical Education Department has already issued advertisement notice to this effect, permitting competent authorities to hire senior doctors on faculty positions as “one time absorption” for new medical colleges, even if the doctors have no teaching experience. Even though experience as such can be a good starting point for teaching but as the old adage from the sporting field states, “ a good player can not be a good coach and a good coach cannot be a good player”. Experience in a given field and teaching the same is then, in many ways, poles apart. If this were not the case, then there would be no such courses or academic programs as the B.Ed or the M.Ed. But these exist and are designed to impart or finesse teaching skills in and among those who choose these as a career choice. Consider the case of the medical field or profession itself. While experience practising the profession gives insights into the nature of illnesses , diseases, diagnostics and so on but it can perhaps never be a substitute for theory , praxis and teaching thereof. So, someone who has become astute in treating diseases, diagnoses and so on might not be able to explain and then relate to students who he or she is supposed to instruct and teach. It then is a travesty that non academics are being roped in by the health department as teaching faculty. This step or decision needs to be reviewed and reversed in the larger interests of the students who should and must be the ultimate beneficiaries and not merely instrumental reasons. In the final analysis, in this place, what happens usually is jugaad instead of long lasting, salubrious measures that redound to the larger good of people. The roping in of experts with a non teaching background and experience is a case in point. But, this case not only pertains to students but also the lives and health of those these students will be dealing with in the future. This, more than anything else, must focus and concentrate minds.