Great teachers make well-rounded individuals

Ultimate goal of Education Policy is to make well rounded personalities
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Representational ImageFile/ GK

Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, a great teacher used to give the following advice to teachers, “we must be perpetual seekers of intellectual integrity and universal compassion”. These are the two qualities which mark out a true teacher.

Such teachers teach the students the process of learning, enable them to become lifelong learners and teach them to continuously practice this trait. Swami Vivekananda, said, If you are not pure and you know all the sciences of the world.

That will not help you at all, you may be buried in all the books you read but that will not be of much use. It is the heart that reaches the goal. Follow the heart and a pure heart sees beyond the intellect, it gets inspired.

The teacher who loves the children from his/her heart is the real nation builder who can lay the solid foundation of a nation committed to the growth and development.

A serving IPS officer from Talangana has rightly written regarding teachers that “in all the skills they have taught, helped me to navigate, to preach the values of life and the way I work are deeply influenced by my teachers. Great teachers live through us, beyond us and we live because of them. They are immortal”.

Former Chairman, BOG NIT Srinagar, Dr M J Zarabi said a good teacher is one who helps you to develop a mindset to question and become inqusitive. Former Chief Engineer, M A Fazili said, parents give us birth but teachers make us what we are. A prominent environmentalist Manzoor wagnoo, rightly says respecting teachers is a gurantee of success. Endorsing the same statements for my beloved teachers. Shaping the character of the young and impressionable minds through words and deeds should be accorded the highest priority, particularly on special days. World Teachers Day is being celebrated on 5th of October every year across the globe with reverence.

Teachers are blessed to have a unique opportunity to shape the destiny of the nation, if taken trustworthily and conscientiously. It is a challenging task and when it is well done, it is the most satisfying task and rewarding too. Childhood is the foundation stone upon which stands the whole life structure, like a multistoried building.

It has been well elaborated in New Education Policy 2020, how utmost care should be taken in early years of schooling and how a new structure is proposed for school education.

I believe, being teacher in the Professional Institution, students must be treated with respect and ability to maintain trust are highly conductive to effective learning. Students should be engaged in dialogue with each other and should be encouraged to think independently, by being given the right to disagree with their teacher’s or classmates’ opinions. The teacher should also design different types of learning activities for different types of learners in the class. Excellent teachers who have an indelible impression on the students have been the role models exemplifying through their attitudes and behaviour, the values and behaviour they wish to impart. Ideal behaviour is important than ideology.

The students have to move forward with the skills of 21st Century, which are 5Cs- Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Curiosity and Communications. These inquisitive qualities are embedded in each student by the nature and teachers need to explore them. They should have the ability to stimulate curiosity, open up opportunities for dialogue in the class room and encourage the children to discover, think and express. They should link class room learning with the learner’s lives.

Those live projects should be encouraged, rather than bringing old models for exhibitions, wasting time and resources of students and parents. Recently while sharing the Dias with Prof Qazi Azhar of Michigan State University, who gave emphasis on organizing periodical Science Fairs, said that hands on learning will make our students well rounded individuals. Er. V K Singh, a serving IPSin Kashmir rightly forwarded his message of Benjamin Franklin, “ teach me and I forget, Teach me and I remember, involve me and I learn”. By these activities, I believe teacher can ignite the mind of the child.

The programme was arranged by jointly by Government and Private Schools on 21st Century Challenges, which are none other than 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Besides, children learn to be kind and compassionate, if the teachers are kind and compassionate. A good teacher is indeed a source of inspiration for the nation.

While appointing teachers, cast, creed, colour and region should not block the ways of appointing authorities. It should be purely on merit and governments should adopt 3-tier selection process, as suggested in policy. Teachers should be the best minds in the country. Good teachers are good learners and in policy it is suggested to identify the best students right from the beginning for the teaching profession, who are passionate to teach. We need teachers who have the required competence and commitment to make difference to the educational landscape. We need a system that responds effectively to the learning needs of all children, youth and adults and keep constantly innovating.

They keep learning new things all the time and acquire knowledge from different sources, even from the class room. In addition to sound knowledge, a teacher should have the skills to communicate that knowledge effectively.

With the use of modern technology, the teacher should groom the students to become autonomous learners. We teachers have to explore new ways, how to make students well rounded personalities, which is the ultimate goal of NEP-2020. Vice Chancellors, Directors, Principals including Government should organize symposiums for establishing a roadmap for the development of well rounded personalities, instead of discussing ACBs, BoGs, MERUs, diplomas and degrees, which are crystal clear in policy.

Before moving to Middle East, I had the honor to work with a great teacher and prominent scientists of the country like Prof. C N R Rao, under Shiekh Saqar fellowships and scholarships. He is a scientific icon who is bestowed with many virtues.

A good human being, an institution builder, a communicator - all rolled into one. He has made tremendous contribution in several facets of Nanoscience and to society, as well. I am blessed by other great teachers, right from my school days. Recently, while organizing International summit on Nanotechnology, I am impressed by great teachers who have dedicated their life for science.

Teacher turned politician Dr. Jitendra Singh who gave a scientific talk on the inaugural ceremony had made an immense contribution of great significance to medical sciences. During INSPIRE Internship Programmes at NIT Srinagar, I am honoured to meet hundreds of versatile teachers working in school education departments, who have all capabilities to nurture the creative minds. Those need to be rewarded and promoted on Teachers/ special Days.

Peers, parents and students should be thankful to the inspiring teachers and should give due recognition of their teaching and social services. In recent times, technology has facilitated many things but a teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil with a desire to learn is hammering on cold iron, Horace Mann said.

The author of science of small can be reached through mail and is holding Chair of Physics at NIT Srinagar

Dr. M. A. Shah,Laboratory for Multifunctional Nanomaterials (LMN) Head, Department of Physics, National Institute of Technology Srinagar

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