‘Teachers Day’ is observed on 5th September throughout India. On this day, the students pay respect to their teachers and in return get their blessings. Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan was born on 5th September, 1888. When he became the President of India (1962 – 67), some of his old students and friends requested him to allow them to celebrated his birthday. But, Dr. Radhakrishnan desired that 5th September should be observed as ‘Teachers Day’ as teaching profession was his first love. As a matter of fact, he was an ideal teacher in all respects throughout his life. According to him, education is the instrument for social, economic and cultural change. He strongly believed that, proper education can bring social and national integration, make the younger generation true citizen of the society, and can bring socio economic developments.
he backbone of the society. They are supposed to groom the younger generation so that they can be good citizens of the country and serve the society better. An ideal teacher brings the students closer to him or her like their parents and helps them to overcome the setbacks in their studies, motivates them to gain knowledge, teaches them to find a purpose and to achieve the goal. An ideal teacher is one who is supposed to be very caring, loves all students equally and free from any bias and prejudice. His / Her attitude towards students should be similar to those of their parents so that there is a cordial atmosphere of intimacy and affection. As the students spend a major part of the day in the school or college, the teacher should see that they should not only learn their lessons properly but also live in a friendly atmosphere with their co – students and the teachers. It is about 80 years back when I entered my village school named as Rambagh M.E. School in Jajpur district of Odisha, by taking admission in class IV. In the beginning I was very much scared, but within a few days I felt quite comfortable by receiving the fatherly affection and closeness from my class teacher as well as the Head Master and some other teachers.
The closeness and good teaching of most of the teachers made me very much interested to go to the school in time regularly and attending to my studies seriously. The class teacher used to know the first name of all the students in our class and used to give equal attention to all my classmates including me. Appreciation and scolding from teachers used to depend on how much the student was attentive in the class and also the degree of performance. Due to friendly and affectionate behaviour of most of the teachers in side as well as outside the class room, the students became quite close to them very soon. I was in that school till I completed my studies up to class VII. For a few years after leaving the school, whenever I was coming to my village from Cuttack where I was pursuing my studies in higher classes in Pyarimohan Academy (a reputed High School at that time), I made it a point to meet my old teachers in my village school in order to pay my respect. This was the practice of most of the old students. In those days, meeting the teachers outside the school to receive their blessings and affection, used to be a great pleasure and privilege for the students.
I may also site another example of an ideal student – teacher relationship. In 1948 after successful completion of my Intermediate Science Course at Ravenshaw College (now Ravenshaw University), Cuttack, I had applied to pursue Bachelor in Arts Course with economic honours in the same college instead of going for Bachelor in Science. After a few weeks, when I received the intimation card for admission, contrary to my preference, I found that, I had to take admission in B.Sc. course with Chemistry honours. However, to my surprise I found from the Admission section of the college that, my choice for higher studies in my application Form, has been changed to B.Sc. with chemistry honours by no less than a person like Prof. Dr. Balabhadra Prasad the then Head of the Department of Chemistry and eminent educationist. As per the advices of other teachers in the college, I reluctantly took admission in B.Sc. with Chemistry Honours and I did quite well in my studies in the subject. After a few days of my admission in the course Dr. Prasad told me that, I would do better by pursuing high studies in Science with Chemistry Honours than going for B.A. with Economics Honours. Such fatherly relationship between teachers and the students were common in those days. .
In the present days, in general, the teachers have got casual relationship with their students and vice versa. Further, most of the teachers do not perform their teaching very seriously; rather indirectly they suggest the students to go for the coaching classes which they conduct outside the school hours for earning more money. Now a days, the teaching has become very much business like with very little interaction between the teachers and students in the class room. As there is no proper mechanism to monitor and evaluate the performance of the teachers in the class room, the teaching standard in educational institutions particularly those belonging to government schools and colleges has gone down. It is ridiculous to find that, most of the parents are compelled to send their children to private coaching classes even starting from First standard to Post Graduate level.
In many cases the teachers have become very sensual resulting in drastic alternation in students and teacher relationship. Taking the advantage of teachers weak points in teaching and behavior, the students take very little interest in their studies. Some students even resort to various unfair means for somehow or other to get a degree. The unrest found in the educational institutions in the present days, is quite common. The bitter relationship between students and teachers causes a lot of harm to maintain the sanctity of the educational institution and naturally the standard of education goes down.
In order to build the career of the students and to groom them properly to work for the socio economic developments of the society and the country, there is an urgent need to restore the sanctity of the teachers and students relationship and bring improvements in the standard of teaching at all levels. At present, teachers in schools and colleges are well paid. They should take their responsibility seriously by improving their knowledge in the subject, developing a passion for teaching with good class room management skill, maintain closer rapport with the students and develop good communication skills. The teachers should show their students that, he or she not only has interest in them but takes necessary steps to see that they learn more and have a bright future. An ideal teaching environment would certainly bring the students and teachers close to each other and create a favorable atmosphere in building the careers of the students. In this process, the students can learn more and come out from the educational institutions with satisfaction and confidence for contributing their knowledge and skill to the society and the country in general.
In order to improve the standard of education at all levels, the government should take all steps for improving the students and teachers relationship, the quality of teaching at all levels and keeping the educational institutions free from politics. On this ‘Teachers Day’, let all teachers make honest self assessment and do the needful to be ideal teachers. A teacher is a privileged one who besides earning his or her livelihood, does a great service to the country and the society by grooming properly the younger generation.