Teachers–Then & Now

Harashankar Adhikari

According to Swami Nikhileshwaranand (2003), teacher in Sanskrit is 'guru' who removes the darkness of society, the 'guru' hands down to disciples living secretes in every art, science and religion. In Vedic literature, teacher is the 'acharya' who imparts knowledge, moulds character and personality of pupils. The 'acharya' is an affectionate father, an effective teacher, and a person of high moral and spiritual qualities. According to Sri Aurobindo, a teacher possesses there instruments—instruction, example, and influence. Sri Rabindarnath Tagore tells again that teaching is such great profession that would be within an atmosphere of love, trust and joy. He also warns that teaching lesson in the class and giving lectures on ideals and principles are not real education. Swami Vivekinanda opines that a teacher functions as a facilitator of learning. According to him teachers spoil everything by thinking that he/she is teaching because within man is all knowledge, and it requires only an awakening, and that much is the work of a teacher. Swamiji tells what a man learns is really what he discovers by taking the cover of his own soul, which is a mine of infinite knowledge. Dr S Radhakrishnan opines that a teacher "must be a committed man, committed to faith in the future of man, in the future of humanity, in the future of the country and the world". The profession of a teacher "should not be reduced to a trade; it is calling, a vocation, a mission". He must impart to the students "zest for new experience, love for adventure in knowledge''. Love of the pupils is therefore the essential quality of a teacher. Teachers must try to understand their pupils—their needs, their interests, their abilities, their wishes, their attitudes and their problems. According to Tagore, teacher would be learner otherwise he never lights another lamp. Gandhiji tells that teacher should impart knowledge with truth and purity. The UNESCO Report (1998) declares that it is not a profession but a mission, a mission to make enlightened adults out of the innocent, young children entrusted to their case. Nevertheless, the teachers would be intellectual and morally equipped and to be dedicated to the welfare of the society. The entry to this vocation would be with love and it should not treat as a profession of wealth and fame.

Unemployment is a biggest challenge to educated population of India and on the other part, present consumers' world is the cause of pushing them into a world of competition. Here the moral value is absent or thin. While self-centred life style underpins mental state towards a reality to living with comfortability. Education becomes the instrument to cop up this consumers' world. And teaching profession is no more now a noble profession which builds the nation for its future glory and prosperity. Teachers do not build up the moral character and teaching is their employment to earn money. So far as moral education is concerned one finds that they involve in indulgences (i.e. molestation and rape to girls, harassment and physical torture to the pupils, etc.) daily. There is doubt whether the recommendation of formation Indian Education Service (IES) would be right step to rectify the goal and value of teaching at this changing consumerised India?

Vol. 50, No.24, Dec 17 - 23, 2017