I am a teacher. I am the one who is responsible for the education of students. Till a few years back, I felt this is the greatest honor bestowed upon any man. Today, the scenario is drastically different.
I teach one of the many subjects students learn and unlearn in their growing up years. But more than the subject, I have always felt it is the dedication towards the absorption of this knowledge that is more important. When students ask me questions regarding the subject, I feel immensely proud of being able to stir their soul and inquisitiveness that churns up questions. Learning is about questioning and seeking answers. A book, however thick can never tell you everything. Even if Einstein today wrote a book on his theories, he will be unable to write down everything. Unless the reader of the book asks how, why, what, when, what then; the process of learning is left incomplete.
And I am afraid, that today students and teachers alike are forced to encourage incomplete learning. Students on one hand are satisfied on simply knowing the answers to the text book questions or the sample paper solutions; and teachers on the other hand are contended in finishing the syllabus and the assignments. The flaws in education did not appear overnight, they have been carefully imbibed in such a way that the loopholes go unnoticed by everyone.
Why is it so that when you prepare for Maths exam, you try to solve every problem in the text book? Why can’t you be confident of solving the problems in examination by just learning the concepts behind the topic? Why is it that for the English exam, students presume that the lengthier the answer is, the more marks they can score? Why do students chose the third language between Hindi, Sanskrit, French on basis of which is easier to score?
Are subjects merely a means to the end of getting more marks? I was always under the illusion that education was a way of empowering a human with knowledge. Where did this idea disappear over the years?
When students sit before me, some eager to learn and some eager to get over with the class, I have the power to abandon the modern teaching methods and shake some sense into their heads that all this is not actually leading them anywhere. They need to go beyond the rote textbooks and exams and start diving into the ocean of knowledge. Or, if I so wish, I could further destroy their future by asking them to do all the chapter questions on time and get some more exam solving tips from their tutors. Instead, I chose to take a middle path. I try to teach as much as I feel the eager brains are ready to accept, and class after class try to urge them to believe that there lies a greater purpose for each of them. Each is destined to play an important role in the functioning of the Universe.
I can only sincerely pray to the Lord that at least some of them remember my words when they grow up and are forced upon by their own parents and society to do something everyone else is doing.
Education, is supposed to make you a better man or woman, teaches you to be a human and not a savage. The difference between man and animal is his brain. The difference between an educated man and an uneducated man is his power of knowledge.
I am utterly sorry to see young, successful men take to cheating and fraud to achieve greater success in terms of money. Even more disgraceful is when they stop respecting poorer men or humiliate their own women.
Perhaps one day, someone will realise why “Education” was incorporated in our society.
Happy Teacher’s Day to me!