A nomadic childhood meant many a school, but when I look back on those years, each school no matter where it was located, always had a teacher one remembers with fondness, someone you wanted to emulate, someone you looked up to!
Be it Melle Valent in France, Mr Studenmayer in Algiers, or Mere Jean Marie in Saigon, they all played their role in building what I am today. And though lost somewhere in the recesses of my brain, a simple trigger brings their faces to my mind and they validate the high esteem teachers are held in, in India.
That was the, things are not quite the same today. Students have scant respect for their teachers, and teachers are a far cry from any expectation. Welcome to 2006 India where teachers take bribes and students beat teachers to death!
My heart went out to little K who put her best and grownup dress to celebrate teachers' day where she was to teach a class. K is 6 and still believes in good and right. My heart went out too to many pwhy primary students teaching their peers with commitment and maybe imagining themselves as teachers one day!
Who is to tell them that this may not happen as they are likely to drop out somewhere along the way.
In times where passing the buck and playing blameGame, I think one should stop and ask ourselves a simple question: how responsible are we for this state of affairs? And if we are honest then we will see that each one of us has a part to play in this sad scenario. Absent parents in search of materialistic eldorados, teachers who have turned learning into earning, a government elected by us and thus representative of our aspirations that has let children down..
The list is endless...
In times where education is often heralded as the panacea of all ills and the key to every door, we have forgotten the basic truth: that education is based on mutual respect between teachers and taught. Teachers are per se, the obvious role models of children, something that we have lost on the way. Like everything else, we first must address our shortcomings, only then will teacher's day regain the meaning it was meant to have.