Prof (Dr) Sanjay Kumar is the Vice-chancellor of Amity University, Kolkata. An Engineering graduate of BITS, Ranchi University, along with an M. Tech and PhD from IIT Delhi, he gives us an insight into how teachers act as bridges, placing their students and their overall success above all else.
At the outset, let me avail this splendid opportunity to convey my heartiest greetings to millions and billions of teachers at all levels on the monumental occasion of Teacher’s Day. Teachers are “Gurus” who have a distinct and most revered place in the hearts of their disciples. Our scriptures have placed Gurus parallel to Gods and Goddesses.
The Guru Gita (verse number 17) very aptly describes the Guru as the “dispeller of darkness”.
A guru is the embodiment of truth, honesty, integrity, and values. He is a true messenger of God, who illuminates the path of life to disciples and equips students with intellect, values and the requisite skills while crossing through the valley of life. A guru is one who holds their hand on the path to removing all obstacles.
Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the 1st Vice President and 2nd President of our country had dabbled in a variety of roles - from a philosopher, a diplomat, a politician to a teacher as Vice Chancellor of the very renowned university, today known as BHU. He had himself expressed his innate desire that his birthday should be observed as Teacher’s Day. The message he left behind with this noble thought is very loud and clear. It is indicative of the decisive and responsive roles of a teacher that shapes and moulds youth.
Teachers of today should also draw a few important lessons from the versatile personality of Dr Radhakrishnan. A very popular quote of his, and one worth emulating for all of us is as follows:
“A good teacher is like a candle that consumes itself, to light the way of others. Ideal teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross. Then having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their own.”
These few lines strongly convey how a teacher must sacrifice himself for the sake of showing the way to his students and making them self-reliant, to bridge the gaps between unlettered villagers and intellectuals.
In the modern era, a teacher’s role extends far beyond the horizon of traditional classroom teaching and self-learning. The capacity and capability building in the youth through massive use of Information communication technology will be the greatest challenge. Inculcating a research orientation in each child, right from the primary classes, is going to be the need of the hour. Also, skill-based learning and teaching needs to be incorporated into the curriculum of schools, colleges, and universities to produce not only degree holders but employable intellectual degree holders. The concept of “Mind to Market” meaning whatever raw creative thoughts that rings or germinates in the minds of students, those ideas need to be nurtured, deliberated, shaped, and converted to innovation by teachers.
Students gaining skills and acquiring knowledge will be the driving forces for economic growth and social development of our country. In the modern era, productivity entirely depends on skilled human potential. Skilled human capital will raise the level of employment, its composition, and provide substantial growth in employment opportunities. The skilled and efficient workforce will enhance productivity manifold and thereby boost the economy. With the ever-increasing pace of globalization and technological changes, the major challenge before teachers is to absorb the technology and impart the same down the line to students.
Jai Hind !!