Changing ideals

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 9/4/2018 10:16:08 AM IST

 In almost all countries, Teachers’ Day is celebrated on different days and months and in India, the birthday of the second president of India Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan on September 5 is celebrated as Teachers’ Day. It may be noted that Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, as the president of India (1962-67), had flown to Kohima in 1963 to officially declare Nagaland as the 16th state under the union of India. Dr Radhakrishnan was also a teachers besides being a philosopher and a devout follower of his faith. The profession of teaching has undergone evolutionary changes with regard to both perception and impartation. Till five decades ago, teaching was imposing information which the student had to accept and learn/ retain through memorisation. Students had to obey every rule-from dress codes to behaviour to doing homework etc. Teachers and students maintained a strict code of restricting their interaction to academics. Teachers then were not encouraged to discuss any matter not included in the curriculum. As a result, education in the old days produced bookworms and graduates who could expect jobs on the strength of their unusable degree knowledge because the word ‘skill’ was not heard except a mild reference to ‘talent.’ Today teachers are expected to mass produce graduates with different abilities. It is a challenge for every teacher today, to keep oneself relevant in a fast changing world. As students have access to any information possible, they are also less inclined to be spoon fed with knowledge that is available everywhere or be taught with the concept of “one-size fits all” content. Today, teaching has become a very different profession unlike what it was some forty to fifty years ago. The world has undergone another huge transformation after the digital revolution ushered in SMS, Facebook, Twitter, Chats etc to a totally new and dynamic era. A teacher who is not digital literate stands to be outdated in today’s fast changing paradigms. This can also mean, that the idea of teachers is no longer confined to those who are employed in institutions. Without teachers, the world today would be like the dark ages; ruled by ignorance and superstition. The different qualities of teachers has been categorised by William Arthur Ward, as the following- a mediocre teacher simply tells; a good teacher explains; a superior demonstrates while a great teacher inspires. A great teacher is a gem and has impacted generations. Even as the entire world is reminded of the great and noble teaching profession where teachers are remembered with a grateful heart especially on Teacher’s Day; the ongoing protests and putting forth demands etc indicate that something is not quite right with the educational environment in Nagaland. Today government teachers are on a virtual warpath over several demands and unless there is an early resolution, the crisis could deepen if school children of affected schools go without classes. While eulogising teachers, it is also important to ponder over the fact that teachers throughout the globe today work mostly for money. Unlike in the past when teaching was purely a noble profession and those who took it up, expected little while giving their everything; today the profession is just like any other. It is incorrect to paint all teachers with the same brush but on Teacher’s Day, it is important to remind society that the very ideals of the profession has to be revived. 

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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