A Teacher-centred Teacher’s Day

Vikali Shikhu

Unity Village, Dimapur

A decade ago when I read an article that quoted “Teaching is one profession that creates all other professions”, I experienced a wonderful feeling that there is something very special about teaching that makes the profession distinctly different from the rest. We all know the background of Teacher’s Day that commemorates the birthday of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, a great Philosopher, teacher, scholar, humanist and the country’s President between 1962 and 1967. He believed that “teachers should be the best minds in the country”. The fifth of September is all about celebrating the life of a Teacher.

To mark the day as a memorable event for the teaching fraternity, our main concern should be Teacher-centred and not necessarily dwell on the decade old fashion of observing this auspicious day. I have personally witnessed Teacher’s Day speeches of our honourable leaders in the past. A big time political masala and cocktail stuff overshadowing the celebration mood is a total put off. The auspicious occasion would have no aroma should the significance of the day be pushed far from the truth.

Many politicians are the reason for the shortages of Teachers in the rural schools (random transfer of Maths & Science teachers). Also, some of them are the reason why the department couldn’t carry out the Teachers re-deployment exercise earlier (rationalization of over staffing pattern in urban and shortage in rural area) as they have absolutely no academic concern due to their main interest being the vote bank. Therefore, no matter how melodious one sings in golden voice, I’m sorry to state the fact that people’s attention can’t be drawn if one doesn’t have command over quality control.

We definitely have state VIPs with oratory skill but they are given enough public platforms throughout the year. Therefore, Teacher’s Day may be best celebrated with educationists, bureaucrats, scholars etc. as Special Guest altering Chief Guest culture at least on Teacher’s Day. We shouldn’t forget retired officers of education department either. May not be all but some of them were truly the heart and brain of the department during their tenure. We could still invite them on Teacher’s Day as Special Guest. They were Teachers first so it is always better to learn practical truth from educators than to hear readymade speeches read out to us. Theoretical words of wisdom is not Teacher-centred anymore hence, it benefits none.

How about honoring Teachers on Teacher’s Day? If teaching is considered a noble profession and Teachers are the pillars of society, shouldn’t Teacher’s award go to the deserving Teachers? To those people responsible in decision making, you decide who gets an award but remember those thousand of eyes in the congregation. You are not the lone judge, this is a small world where the potential of an individual Teacher is visible to others and reflected in the society. To those Teachers who were busy inquiring about the award format, please take note that genuine award is never routed through an awardee well ahead of time.

I had included some practical points on the selection/nomination of Teacher’s Day Award in my earlier article captioned “Reflections on Government schools’ HSLC result” published by esteemed local dailies on May 28, 2017. God knows how far justice was delivered to Teachers in the 11 districts and State level award all these years. Sadly, many deserving Teachers have retired empty handed because no one ever nominated them. The fact of the matter is, nomination of awardees shouldn’t be done by the department officials alone but committee should include EBRC personnel as members. Again I say it would be a big lie of all time should anyone claim to know Teacher’s performance better than the Trainers of Teachers.

No man has become great without one’s Teacher. The President of America may be the most respected man in the world, but even the most powerful man on earth is not above his Teacher who nurtured him. Aristotle said “those who educate children are more to be honored than they who produced them: for these only have gave them life those the art of living well”.

Sorry proxy Teachers, this is not your day. Dr Abdul Kalam once said “teaching is a noble profession that shapes the character, calibre and future of an individual. If people remember me as a good Teacher, that will be the biggest honour for me”.

How many Teachers walk the talk? I am sure we still have inspiring Teachers in our midst no matter what. They are a gem and truly an apple of the department’s eye. The most critical role in the society is human development. No one was born great but our destiny was shaped by Teachers. Alexander the great once said “I’m indebted to my father for living but to my Teacher for living well”.

Teacher’s award is no exception. We do witness awards in various disciplines during Republic Day, Independence Day, Election duty awards, other national awards etc. Not that we judge but sometimes we observe that some upright and dedicated Government officers are being left out. Here I mean the choice of good ones over best ones. Generally speaking, present day awards are no more an exciting news to the citizens like those days when published by media houses. Now that we have been celebrating Teacher’s Day for the last six decades, celebrating for the sake of celebration holds no worth. As responsible citizens of the 21st century, Teacher’s Day of our time should make a difference with a purpose.

There is no greater joy than when you are acknowledged in recognition of your hard work and dedication. Congratulations to all the Teacher awardees of 2017. On this auspicious ocassion, let us remind ourselves of a quote that says “Give your Teachers respect they deserve because they are the reason you can read this”

A big salute to all our Teachers of yesterday and today.

Happy Teacher’s Day



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