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pension thro' social security system

On Wed, 16 Sep 1998 planck@hd1.vsnl.net.in wrote:

Point No. 1: Old Age Security

> This will not work.  the teacher needs confidence that he will be
> employed. he needs pension benefits. 

Vikram, the statement I made was in context of another very vital system
which has been proposed elsewhere. The Social security system: "mostly
fully-funded rather than pay-as-you-go, with some progressivity built into
it." To implement this will require requires buidling a good financial and
electronic infrastructure - which is going go be discussed under

Nobody needs to be without pension - but that pension will have to be paid
TODAY - and then stashed away into individual Social Security accounts.
Say, a teacher is paid Rs.100 salary; then Rs.15 pension has to be paid
straight into Social security. The teacher will be assured of full
security in old age this way (well, almost "full" - since there is nothing
like 100% security in life). 

But not having contractual relationships in which the teacher can be
summarily dismissed for derelection of duty by the appointing authority:
the parents/ management committee - will mean that incentives are in place
for continuance of the current disastrous system. Teachers are not gods.
Their job is to teach. If they don't teach, throw them out. Period. That
is what is being recommended for ALL jobs - particularly in government. No
job, including that of the IAS, should be permanent. Only contractual.
Nobody is going to receive pensions. But all will get  social security. We
are talking of completely changing incentives.

Point No. 2: Amount of payment:

> that the best of  teachers dont get paid enough  is well known. 

We are talking of a merit based and highly volatile system of social
mobility. In the US system (this is not so outlandish an example as it
sounds), the best teachers quickly grativate to the Ivy League
universities. Start anywhere in the world. If you are good enough, you
will reach Harvard. So also, if you are a good teacher, you will be
quickly recognized and brought into the most elite schools in India. But
that will not prevent other schools from having good teachers, since they
exercise complete control on the teacher. And we are talking of
compensating the teachers who work in remoter areas sufficiently highly.
In fact, I believe that if we follow such a system we will not need to
raise the Education department budgets too significantly in order to
achieve wonderful results. 

I give a typical example: Many government teachers in Assam run around in
circles (not teaching which they are supposed to do), trying to get posted
to Guwahati. Often, money changes hands in this process since they
teachers are willing to forego some money in order to live in a bigger
city. Further, there is NO reason (or very little reason) to subsidize
education in cities. Let the students pay fees. Therefore, those who wish
to work in cities will have to accept lower subsidies from government and
the bulk of subisidy will go toward paying teachers in remote areas. The
formula I spoke of will take care of this. 

Point No. 3: recognition

> Is there
> another reason?
> that the institution of teaching more respect from the society.   Respect
> will come from recgnition of services through institutionalised
> mechanisms..

Recognition for teachers will come, in the system I am talking of, through
being given job offers by good schools in urban areas. Just like being a
tacher in Harvard Uni is a great recognition (without government awards),
being a teacher in Doon school (say) is a great recognition. Let us allow
thousands of Doon schools to blossom and let the best be rewarded by only
one genuine reward: higher wages. I consider all other rewards to be a
farce. A Nobel prize without its million dollar tag would also be a farce.

Let the market system (and parents) reward the best teachers this way
which is the only fair way: not by receiving postings to Guwahati because
they are relatives of ministers or bureaucrats, or because they paid money
to the Directors of education. Get the government COMPLETELY and WHOLLY
out of the management of education. 

Taxpayer ---> tax to government ---> straight to the school

No intermediary is needed in the middle to manage the school system.

well: we can debate further, but I'm done for today.


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