Saturday, 18 September 2021 | Dr BKS Sanjay | in Guest Column
This author owes a lot to all his teachers because they have shaped his life, otherwise he would not have been in this position and writing this column.
Education plays an important role in developing all our human potential. It helps to develop both our inner and outer power. The teachers play an important role in shaping the life of all children and indirectly all citizens.
The teacher-student relationship has changed a lot from the old time to the current time. It has now become very complicated, formal and codified. There has been a tremendous shift in how the teachers used to be in the older generation to that of now. Traditionally the teacher’s never used to work on the principle of business but rather on the tenets of charity or service.
Mahatma Gandhi had said that the earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed. But unfortunately the health and education sector are being run in our country on the motive of financial profit. Gandhi had also said what is really needed to make a democracy function is not knowledge of facts, but the right education. I believe the right education can be given only by qualified teachers. “Nothing counts as much as school,” as stated by Horace Mann, an American educational reformer who promoted universal public education and teachers.
The good teachers have the eye that can spot the uniqueness of every child. Each teacher can develop that uniqueness in due course of time. Here I would like to cite Rajguru Dronacharya, Maharshi Gautam and founder of Super 30, Anand Kumar. It is being seen very well in the field of sports that the quality of the athlete changes tremendously once the right coach tunes him to excel.
BR Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian constitution regarded education as a critical instrument to raise the overall status of all citizens. He believed that through the acquisition of education, especially higher education, socio-economic equality can be promoted. Ambedkar said that the cultivation of mind should be the ultimate aim of human existence. He not only promoted education but reflected it in his ideology and said that my final words of advice to you are, “To educate, agitate and organise; have faith in yourself.”
NR Narayana Murthy, founder of the Infosys mentions in his book ‘A Better India, A Better World’ that he sees the colonial attitude of the Indian elite society every day with a glaring difference in ruled and rulers.Indian elite send their children to English medium school while forcing the children of the poor into vernacular schools, extol the virtues of poverty while living in luxury and glorify the rural life while they sit comfortably in cities.
The former president of India, APJ Abdul Kalam indicated that the communication of good values by reputed people was an important first step in changing the mindset of youngsters. The eminent people should participate on social platforms to speak to the young people and they should be invited in the colleges and universities in academic functions as much as possible. The author has an experience of Mayo Clinic, USA where there was a trend to invite almost every Nobel laureate to deliver a lecture for the staff and students. American universities currently employ 70 per cent of the world’s Nobel Prize winners.
If we have a dream to make India a developed nation and a super power of the world then we have to follow the simple principle of all developed nations which have invested a lot on education, starting from primary to higher education and reaping the fruits for the nations.
Here, I would like to mention that we do not need only the primary education centers for the children but there should be multiple centres of excellence for higher teaching and training of the teachers as well. John Dewey, an American educationist was the first to start the concept of teacher’s training schools because he thought that only well-educated and trained teachers can transfer their knowledge and skill to the children.
When the former President APJ Abdul Kalam was asked what makes a country develop he replied that the obvious indicators are the wealth of the nation, prosperity of its people and its standing in the international forum. Any progress based on dreams requires changes, which require learning. Education is one of the important pillars of the growth of an individual and ultimately of the family, society and the nation. Being educated means you are assuming responsibility towards society. Education will give equal opportunity to everybody. Our nation’s goal should be to give every child food, shelter, healthcare and education. Education should teach that duty comes first. Each generation has to make sacrifices to make a better life for the next generation.
The education field should be given its due importance in the development of any individual, any society and any nation. It influences an individual’s behaviour, knowledge and skill which are the tripod for mobility of an individual from the lower strata to higher strata. Hence, in order to live a better and peaceful life we need to be educated. It is education which broadens our horizon. It transforms us completely by changing our mind and thoughts, thereby changing our deeds.It is said, a former is worth a thousand reformers. It is suggested that irrespective of profession we should follow a principle of DRAFT- Do Right At First Time because repair and redo are costly affairs. Be honest and true to your profession. Create excellence in whatever you do. The policy makers should ensure that quality education should be given to all, which should be cheap and similar for all citizens. The quality of work depends upon the quality of the worker hence the quality of education depends upon the quality of teacher.
(A Padma Shri recipient, the author is an orthopaedic surgeon based in Dehradun)