I was asked to write something on the occasion of teachers’ day. While I was contemplating what to write I came across a very pressing concern, “Why only on Teacher’s Day we express our gratitude towards teachers when everything and every minute of our lives has the essence of teachers; guide; mentor”? Conforming once again to the traditional norms but with an expectation that my words would lighten few among us; I’ll hence try to manifest and talk about the importance of Guru in our lives. I would also talk about the changing role and situation of teachers in Indian society.

When we say students are the pillars of future of our country then we generally forget who is the foundation. Foundation is the wisdom and a good foundation needs expert designers so we need excellent teachers who prepare the new generation for bearing the load of the building. What will happen if foundation is not proper or not strong enough?

So how to make strong pillars? Have you seen how are pillars made? I think you must have seen as there is lot of construction going in and around all the cities. What does a mason do to make pillars? He puts the steel reinforcements to give it a framework then he pours the concrete in it and holds that concrete with moulds. What happens if he doesn’t use moulds? Most of the concrete will flow out of the structure and what you’ll get is a weak, non uniform, not good looking structure. Will this structure be able to support the weight of the roof alone? Or will it be able to withstand its own weight? So moulds are equally important for proper shaping of pillars. If we say students are pillars then what is the mould? Mould is the fear of punishment from the teachers. And what are we doing today? Removing the moulds in the name of child rights. Sometimes it is necessary to push the child in a particular direction (sometimes forcefully) to prevent her/him from going in wrong direction. How can we expect the new generation to withstand the load of future building if we haven’t moulded them properly? In order to prepare them for new challenges we have to mould them. We have to let the teachers decide how they achieve this.

Banning the punishment in the name of child rights is like removing moulds from the pillars of your building before the cement has taken shape. I understand that unfortunate cases of the children being beaten up badly have taken place in the past but it is like having an accident on roads. How many accidents take place on roads in a day? But do we stop driving by the fear of meeting an accident? Then why do we miss this point in such an important issue? A teacher should be allowed to handle the students in his/her own way.

Earlier we used to have gurukuls where people used to leave their children to get trained and guru was everything for them. He used to take care of all their needs. The gurus were the best scholars of their time and they used to opt for this profession by themselves. But today most of the teachers become teachers because they are unable to get a job that is better (in terms of salary) job (few exceptions are always there). So the guru was the only authority to decide what is to be done with the student and how he has to teach his students. The exams were also not time bound. Everyone used to learn according to his ability and interest. I know we cannot follow this system in today’s fast changing world. But at least we can give some more freedom to the teachers, and let them decide how they are going to handle their students.

The relation between Guru and Shishya is no less than a father son relationship. Schools are the gurukuls of today. So school is no less than family for the students. And an importance of teacher becomes more in today’s world and to me students should spend more time with teachers to build a bond which would help them in their growth. Hence policies should be made in such a way that these attract more brilliant people towards the teaching profession and give more freedom at their work. Only those who themselves are brilliant, determined and have dedicated their lives towards the noble profession of teaching can shape the future of children which in turn will shape the future of our country.

— Gopesh Gaur

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