• By : Rayees Ahmad Kumar
During 2nd World War when among others, men of intellect too were being killed. Hitler was asked, what to do ? He replied “By all means protect only the teachers, whole nation will be rebuilt.”
Educating people is one of the greatest jobs one can do. The profession of teaching exists since time immemorial. In olden times, there was the gurukul system of teaching where the students left their homes to stay with the sages in the forest. They educated the students for years who returned to their homes after several years of training. These sages were worshipped by the students and their parents like they worshipped God. Since then, a teacher is placed next to God.
The teaching system had been modified over the years and today we see a large number of educational institutions running across the country. Teaching is the greatest act of optimism. It is one such profession that creates all other professions. Great teachers like Sir Radhakrishnan and Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam are an inspiration to all of us.
5th September is celebrated as “Teachers’ Day” throughout the country since the year 1962 on the birth anniversary of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, the second President of India who was also a philosopher and an educationist. When he became the President of India, few of his students requested to let them celebrate his birthday on 5th September. On this, he asked them to celebrate the day as “Teachers’ Day” and not just as his birthday. This would make him happier and even more proud. Ever since. the day is celebrated as “Teachers’ Day”.
Everything and everyone around us teach something or the other. Our prime education begins at home. As we grow and meet people, we learn from them. Experience and mistakes are our greatest teachers. They teach us how to handle situations and survive in this world. I had been fortunate enough to have been taught by such wonderful teachers and it is because of that i too have become a teacher.
Teachers day celebration in Kashmir unlike in the rest of the world is unique because instead of fetching encouraging comments or recognizing their best services for society, they are being targeted for none of their faults. Be it the bad board results or ill performance of institutions in other fronts too , teachers are made easy targets. No doubt teachers too are responsible because instead of equipping themselves with the latest skills and enriching themselves with the subject matter they are unnecessarily engaging themselves in non teaching assignments and often show lackadaisical approach while being given the teaching assignment. Further a number of times, teachers were booked for indulging in immoral/ antisocial activities from every corner of valley. In order to retain the lost glory of this noble profession, we need to develop the qualities of a good teacher and perform our duties with utmost honesty.
Posting teachers in far away places from their residences, compelling them for non teaching assignments like election duty, census duty, yatra duty etc etc are not only the grave injustices with the teachers and poor children but also the prestige of this profession is jeopardized. You can expect better results and good overall performance only when teachers are at liberty.
Further both the teachers and the teaching profession is not regarded what it used to be in the past. A patwari, police constable and VLW of rural development department is given more respect than a nation builder obviously because the services you get from them can’t be obtained at the hands of a teacher. A teacher is shaping the future of your children. He is the spiritual and moral guide of your dear ones. But unfortunately it seems the thinking of people has got mutated due to which they have lost the rationality. Otherwise the teaching profession is still kept at the apex in developed nations. In Germany teachers have the highest salary in the country, when judges, doctors and engineers asked the German chancellor Angela Merkel for the same salary, she told them ” How can I compare you to those who taught you ”
Dedicating a day for teachers must mean to give them the respect they deserve, acknowledge their contribution and services for the social and national development and above all their role in being the better guides of our future generation.
Teachers truly are the backbone of society. They are role models to children, offer guidance and counselling and give young people the power of education. Because of teachers, countries are able to further develop socially and economically. Next time you or your community achieve something great, take a moment to think of and be grateful for the teachers who made it possible.
Author is a columnist and teaches at Govt Boys Secondary School Anderwan Ganderbal.