RECENTLY, the governments, voluntary organisations and schools celebrated Teacher’s Day on September 5. Celebration of Teacher’s Day has been a kind of ritual for the Education Department since 1962. The thinker, philosopher, guide and former President of India Dr S Radhakrishnan gave immense importance to education. He himself told the countrymen, “If you want to celebrate my birthday, celebrate it as ‘Teacher’s Day’.
For over five decades the governments as well as educational institutions all over the country have been observing this day with enthusiasm and much fanfare. Programmes are organised in every nook and corner of the country. Teachers are honoured and some welfare schemes are launched by central and state governments for teachers’. The role of teachers in transforming future of the society is also lauded.
Undoubtedly, the deterioration in teaching sector is widening day-by-day. We normally examine the role of teachers in schools only. Fact is that the teachers should not be confined to schools or in classrooms only. Traditionally, they are present in every family from which the child comes to learn in schools. This is not a matter of surprise. We all are aware of the fact that in every family, parents of the students always talk of teachers. The parents are concerned not only with the teaching qualities of teachers, but their character too. Their behaviour with students and quality to inculcate good samskars and values in their life also matter.
Teachers and parents are very much close through student’s school diary and homework. Both these provide opportunities of daily interaction between the teachers and the parents. Everyday parents, especially the mothers, check the diary and help the children to do their homework. In both these activities, the parents discuss about teachers with their children and the parents come to know the whole character of the teachers. Younger students are keen observer of not only the behaviour but also the sentiments and intentions of the teachers. Kids also have great honour for their teachers. They take their orders seriously and follow them strictly.
The students of KG or 1st standard are very much attached to their parents specially mothers. It is understood that it is the time when the seeds of good behaviour are sown among children. The role of both the mother and the teacher is important and pertinent. Both have to see that while inculcating the good behaviour in children, both the idols of God (mother and teacher) should not be broken. The mothers should honour the teachers and vice a versa. The teacher should also always appreciate the parents and parents should show honour for the teachers. But today this healthy relation between parents and teachers appears missing. This hampers the growth of children and the very purpose of education is ruined. The parents think that by paying handsome amount to school, they have purchased good education for the children. On the other hand, the school management and teachers are concerned for the fees only.
In fact, the prime aim of education is to build a man or woman to become a good family member. The man or woman should be first honoured in family only. The recipients of honour in family will be honoured in society also. The first school is family. The teachers should not be confined to their classrooms only. They should be present in houses of the students also. A healthy relation between house and school should be ensured through different initiatives by both teachers and parents. The role of a teacher is more important in it. He or she can sow the seeds of good behaviour in the families through children and make the entire family happier.
I believe the students teach a lot to their teachers. As a principal of a school for eight years, I learnt a lot from my students, especially younger ones. The kids were very keen to listen to my words, but at the same time they were good observer of my behaviour also. They tried to imitate body language of teachers including mine. My school used to give some instructions to students, which were to be followed in houses. Once a father of a student came and told me, “now you have begun to teach me also.” I was perturbed to hear his statement. He told me, “My daughter always asks me to wash hands before taking food, pray the God before going to sleep and many other things. I have to follow her instructions. She behaves as my teacher.”
I was very happy. In a cheerful mood he told me that the teachers of my school were very much present in his family. All the family members, including servants, are familiar with all teachers of the school through students. They remember their names, nature and behaviour also. In my childhood, I could see and feel the importance of our teachers in my family. They used to be honoured like a saint. They were above all relations. Of course, the teachers are part and parcel of a family. Teachers used to come to our house frequently. They discussed our progress and used to give instructions to our parents. They were the teachers of parents also. The problems of family and village were discussed with the teachers of the school. The individual as well as the villagers listened to the teachers while solving the problems.
In those days education was for life and not for the livelihood only. Educating a child for living a good and happy life the help of family was also required. After all, the life had to be lived in family only. Now as the aim of education has changed, parents want to teach their children to earn more and more money. The teacher has also changed. The result is vivid. We cannot go back. While going ahead the society can remember the path and experiences of forefathers, which will facilitate in carrying the seeds of culture based on education. At the same time the requirement of the present and future should be the aim of the education. There are so many aspects of education. Parents-teachers relation is base of the building of education. The target of the teacher should be building healthy and happy family of course the students will be the tools.
(The writer is former Chairperson of Central Social Welfare Board)