Despite many pitfalls in our education system, we are able to produce best of minds that are shaping various spheres of life, thanks to our teachers. This Teachers’ Day here is a teacher who has been a role model for many teachers handing over his wisdom to the younger generation. Also presenting some individuals and institutions who walk and talk beyond pay scales and benefits
Renowned educationist and former President of India Dr S Radhakrishnan once said: “Education does not merely aim at intellectual freedom, but the real objective is liberation of heart and subconscious. The polluted minds are more dangerous than the slums outside”.
If we don't intend to endanger our future, we need to accord topmost priority to education. Material wealth like big dams, etc are meaningless, if our people are of narrow mentality. We need to expand their hearts, sharpen their intellect and cleanse their minds to make them capable of enjoying these facilities. If we cannot change their mind, what is the use of changing the outer environment? We will have to change ourselves and if we are serious about it, then we have to start from those institutions that fulfil the needs of the students.
Education provides human beings with power and awareness, and forms the base of good and qualitative lifestyle. Effective education system exposes the capabilities of the student in the limelight, develops them and transforms his likings, life values and in accordance with them so that he can achieve total development of his personality.The talent, commitment and effectiveness of a teacher make the education more effective. The teacher must earn the following talents:
n A teacher must know the obstructing elements of education. The problems confronting the country, social evils and imbalance, the slow pace of progress, and development of science and technology provide life to the education. It is necessary to know and understand them.
n . For the fulfilment of educational objectives a teacher acquire competence to plan programmes aimed at all-round development of the students considering their many forms, classes, tastes and interests. They will have to imbibe the commitment in the Constitution towards admitting students in primary school and retain them in schools.
n A teacher must have sharp intellect to delve deep into the study material given to students. A teacher must know the subject, understand it and acquire new knowledge. Syllabus is not just bookish knowledge. Each activity of school is part of the syllabus. This calls for expansion of vision. Lesson should be action based, interesting. The different modes of continues evaluation of students.
n Organising various events in the school, time management, evaluation of programmes, parents contact, individual guidance to students, oneness with the society all should become inseparable part of educational programme.
n Self-study, new experiments, dialogue with educationists and visits to good schools can help in development of talents.
n One who is not committed to one's self cannot be committed to others. Self-commitment is a spiritual process. Who am I? Where I have to go? The Upanishadas have given answer to all such questions. A human body is a divine gift and to become a teacher is the cumulative result of all our best deeds of earlier lives. The teacher who understands this can alone transform the students, society and nation, no other can. Therefore, this pure and clear vision is the first step towards commitment.
n Commitment to students is the base of a teacher’s mission. Unstoppable love and affection towards the students, sharing happiness and sorrow can inculcate good values in them. Mechanical behaviour won't. To remove their names for remaining absent or not depositing fees, are all mechanical works. This does not justify being a teacher. A selfless and pure love towards the students is the soul of education.
n Teaching is not my business, it is my mission. I don't work for money, but my work is my worship. I have opted for this not for money but as my duty.
n Success could not be achieved in this field sans commitment to our subject. It is necessary to read, chew and digest the syllabus and to acquire new knowledge. If we don't walk in pace with the new information we would lag behind; we will have no place in the race for the highest. Therefore, to make our subject perfect and to enrich it is the life mission of a teacher. We must strive to achieve it.
n The life of a teacher becomes an open book due to his commitment to life values. Education and values should go together. Divorce of them would end relevance of education. The objective of education is to spread and inculcate life values. A teacher who has imbibed these values can alone transmit these values in the students. As Rabindra Nath Tagore said, “One lamp can light the other”. Therefore, firm commitment to life values will make the teacher valuable.
n We are part of the society. Schools cannot remain dissociated from society. They should not become islands in the society. Mutual and responsive cooperation between schools and society is necessary for both. If the teacher does not have this social vision he cannot give to the society. Hence, commitment to the society is also considered as the most required quality of a teacher.
n “India emerges from the classrooms,” said Kothari Commission. Classroom is the place where teaching, study, actions, satisfying queries, teacher's behaviour is exhibited. This is a laboratory for educational skills. It is the pious place to performing one's responsibilities with honesty. This is the first place for following action and duties.
n Classrooms are not school unto them. The school building, its cleanliness, systems, decoration, maintenance, students, teachers and guardians are all physical and human resources of the school. They work with their capabilities, commitment and duties.
n Vinoba Bhave used to say, “A home is a school and a school is a home”. Therefore, guardian contacts and dialogue with them is most important work of the teachers. Organising guardians' meetings and providing individual counselling is part of their work. This helps in resolving many problems of the students.
n Prof Rajendra Singh used to say, “Our Acharya is not just a teacher of a subject, he is the teacher of the society”. An educationist said, “open a good school and close down the jails”. Meaning a good school and its teachers are capable of transforming the society. They rid the society of outdated customs and elevate the standard of the society. Hence, a teacher is an axel of the society.
Hence, talent, commitment and results are triveni of an expert teacher.
(The writer is a renowned educationist and chairman of Shiksha Sanskriti Utthan Nyas. Translated by Virag Pachpore)