Archive | September 2013

Teachers as nation builders

Happy Teachers day to all my teachers.

We live in a pakka set up of Kali yugh (last days as per Christian understanding). Day after day we see shocking crime reports. News about rape has become everyday news. Bribery, corruption, abuse of power and possition are the order of the day. Policy paralysis, slow growth rate and struggling Indian economy are some of the serious concerns our nation is facing.

 Teaching is one important profession which can really change the fate of our nation. I remember incidents where villegers comment ‘you are a learned person. How come you do such a petty act’. Well, in Indian psyche, education is not just gaining expertice in one particular field of study, but more than that it has to do with ‘being civilized’. But it is sad to see a holy profession like teaching becoming a source of mere consumerism and business. Consumerised education has brought down the quality of education to a great extent. It is sad to see such a situation arising in a nation which always hold teaching as a sacred festival with a festival like ‘guru purnima’ centred upon gurus.

 India does not lack a strong foundation for education. India’s university kind of education dates back to around 500 BC when Nalanda university was in its hay day with 10,000 students and 2000 faculty. Also guru (master) – sishya (disciple) kind of learning is not alien to Indian education system. India has also produced many model propogators of education like Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Swami Vivekananda and so on.

 

Past is history but the present with its technical and educational advancements doesn’t seem very well. That is why the role of teachers as nation builders is crucial. One of the definitions for guru (master) goes like this: “he word Guru is derived from two words, ‘Gu’ and ‘Ru’. The Sanskrit root “Gu” means darkness or ignorance. “Ru” denotes the remover of that darkness. Therefore one who removes darkness of our ignorance is a Guru”. India is faced with lot of darkness as I have discussed in the first paragraph. The questions Indian education system has to ask are: Can the teachers teach with a perspective that will help in removing the above vices completely? Teachers primarily give interpretation of the texts. Can teachers choose to teach in such a way to enable the students to stand against vices?

 Being a Bible teacher, I see Jesus as a perfect example of a good teacher. Some of the good qualities of teaching is as follows:

He chose to teach in a very contemporary and easy to understand way. He used parables (short stories on a theme) as a means for the same.

“And when a great multitude had gathered, and they had come to Him from every city, He spoke by a parable.” (Luke 8:4).

He stood against the existing wrong teachings and sought to bring transformation through right kind of teaching.

“And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves. And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.” (Matthew 21:12-17)

He focused primarily on moral transformation through his teaching.

“Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into someone’s mouth does not defile them, but what comes out of their mouth, that is what defiles them.” Matthew 15:10,11)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

(Matthew 5:27-28)

May the Lord almighty enable the teachers of this nation to be nation builders.