Traditionally, in Indian culture, a teacher is a guru, a friend, philosopher and guide whose relationship with the student is a ‘sacred bond.’ The nation observes September 5, which coincides with the birthday of the late President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, as Teachers’ Day. Orissa POST talked to a few youngsters to elicit their views on this special bond.
“A teacher is someone who imparts knowledge. Seen that way, your mother is your first teacher,” says Jyotirmayee, a student of PN Autonomous College, Khurda. “You cannot define a teacher based on age, qualification, attire or social background, but the teaching has to be useful and valuable. A good teacher connects with a large number of students by integrating knowledge with empathy. Teaching is more a vocation than a profession and a good teacher is someone who encourages a weak student as much as a bright one.”
Jyotiranjan Padhihari, an MBA student says, “Teaching is not just a profession, it’s a mission. Sometimes one can learn not only from a teacher but also from a situation. Failure, for instance, is a great teacher. The best way to teach is not just to make students mug up things but to train them how to deal with an issue and find a solution. Over the years, the distance between the students and teachers has diminished. Teachers have become friendlier and more accessible through various online platforms. Students would be able to work better in class if they knew that their teacher would help them even after the class.”
“The word for teacher in Sanskrit is ‘guru’ which means one who takes the students to the path of light from darkness,” says Bedadipa, an engineering student from Balasore. “A person who makes you learn is a teacher. From behavioural aspects to professional career, a teacher can add value to your life. But I think the bond between a teacher and students is getting weaker now. Students think the teacher is a person who works for money. While government teachers are well paid, many private institutions actually pay teachers less than even daily wage labourers. So, you can imagine what the quality of education would be in such a scenario. I don’t think the teaching profession should be commercialised.”
“Real teachers are rare. Lucky are those who grow up under their tutelage,” says Asha Sarkar from Cuttack. “Traditionally, teachers were meant to impart wisdom and skills. But, nowadays the concept has changed. The teachers’ responsibilities have increased manifold.
“These days, many young professionals are keen on becoming teachers and trainers. That produces a situation where the age difference between the teacher and student is negligible. So, the student feels comfortable about participating and initiating discussions in class. As both the teacher and the students are from the same generation, their thoughts match, and this helps in the exploration of more diverse ideas. Many students idolise their young teachers because they too aspire to achieve such a respectable position at a young age. It isn’t easy to find a true teacher. However, once you find a true teacher, you’ll be able to face any situation in life,” adds Asha.
Bratati Baral, OP