Today our nation celebrates Teachers’ Day with pride and on this auspicious day I convey my sincere greetings to all the dedicated teachers who strive hard to uplift the life of students through their tireless devotion to duty. Teachers are called the builders of nation and the prosperity and culture of a nation reflects the attitude and the way of functioning of its teachers. Even though majority of the educational institutions in our country do not have the state of the art infrastructure and human resources as available in the developed countries, professionals from our country are occupying respectable key positions in various prestigious organizations throughout the world and the achievements made by our country in the fields of Medicine, Science & Technology etc makes our country as an emerging super power in the world. This would not have been made possible without the dedicated contributions of teachers in all levels. Next to parents, teachers might be the only one who always looks at the progress of their children with pride and not with jealousy. Teachers always share the success stories of their students with pride to others and rarely one may come across teachers sharing the shortcomings of their students with others.
Unfortunately most of the teachers in our country are underpaid and do not get recognized for their selfless services. Many leaders greet teachers on Teachers’ Day and most of them conveniently forget it from the very next day. They not only forget about the teachers but also about the impact this selective memory would have on the society. Majority of us send our children to private schools as we want quality education for our children but we seldom think about the miserable life of the underpaid and ill-treated private school teachers who contribute their best towards the wellbeing of their students in spite of the hardships they face. I sincerely pray that leaders and officers who are in the position of brining changes in the life of people stop the practice of turning blind eye to these helpless private school teachers and exercise their authority to ensure a decent life to them.
The lives of Government school teachers are also not free from struggles. Various agitations and demonstrations being held by sections of Government school teachers time to time exhibits the state of affairs existing in the Government sector. What pride do we have when a section of our teachers are not paid continuously for many months? Analyzing about issues concerned with Centre-State share is not the duty of teachers; all they need is timely release of their salaries so that their family members need not suffer in starvation. Another distressing fact about Government school teachers is subjecting them to mental torture by depriving them of their genuine service benefits. Every Government servant is entitled to certain service benefits and forcing them to land at the corridors of Courts for getting justice is not expected to happen in the education department which is supposed to serve as a model department to others.
Now, let me come to the other side of the coin. When we happily accept the pride of being called as the builders of nation, we must also accept responsibility for the anarchies prevailing in our society. Incidents of persons having authority behaving in arrogant manner could be witnessed in many offices in our country. Majority of Government employees develops a feeling that they are the masters of public and never realize that they are appointed to serve the public. Where from these people acquired this mindset? I would say that we inherit these characteristics from our parents and teachers from childhood onwards. Many teachers instill fear psychosis in the minds of children and never allow freedom of expression in class rooms. Students are forced to write only the answers given by the teachers, creative ideas and answers are mostly discouraged, Questioning is never encouraged and even those raising questions are branded as rebels. All these acts gradually inculcate the characteristics of authoritarian approach in us and we exhibit them when power comes to our hands.
Every one of us talks about having a corruption free society and many organizations have been sphere heading towards achieving this. In my opinion such sanitization processes should begin from the schools. A school is a miniature society and most of the characteristics and habits in a person’s life are formed during the school days. Are we in a position to say honestly that we as teachers exhibit a model life to them? What habits will children learn from teachers who keep proxies and indulge in practices of absenteeism? What characteristics will they learn from the functioning of Government schools whose average daily working hours and average yearly working days are far less than those of private schools?
Teachers are expected to treat their students the same way they treat their own children. But the reality we witness seems to be different. A recent study conducted in a south Indian State reveals that at the Primary & Middle School level 73 % children of Government School teachers study at private schools and that at High & Higher Secondary level is 87%. This clearly shows that we want our own children get quality education from the private schools as we do not have trust in the quality of education being provided in the Government schools. I am sure that not even 1% of children of bureaucrats and higher officials will be studying in Government schools in any of the States.
The world now passes through a very difficult phase and the responsibility of teachers thus has increased many folds. Children are exposed to too much of electronic media and the expansion of knowledge goes at very high rate. The dangers of misusing technology also increase with these developments. Teachers have equal responsibility as that of parents in protecting children from the evil clutches of antisocial elements. Teachers thus should keep themselves updated with the latest developments and should lead their students towards growth. On this auspicious day I earnestly request all the teachers to teach their students with love and dedication and at the same time request my beloved students to learn with love and regards for your teachers.