Passing through a primary school in a remote village, I happened to glance upon the numerous quotes that were painted in bright colours on the school walls. I admit it was just a glance at the beginning, which later took the form of curiosity as I began reading the contents aloud. “Trees are our real wealth,” “A friend in need is a friend indeed,” “Your house is your first school,” and so on. Finally I stopped at one saying which read “God gives you life, but a right teacher gives you the right direction in life.”

Reading this set my mind thinking and I sat down to speculate. It is very true that it is your teacher with whom you spend a majority of your time, who can truly guide and shape your personality. This teacher-student relationship is such a wonderful experience. How many people would even have given this a thought? Going back to the Gurukul system days, let’s just try and put a few things together.

That was a period when the child living with the teacher/guru, would be a part of his family for a particular period of time till the completion of his education, which comprised not only of various subjects, but of ethical and moral based education too. The guru in turn imparted his knowledge to the students. Thus, the student learned to respect not only the teacher but fellow-students as well. And they also learned all this through proper practical experience.

But what a contrast to today’s education system! Forget about teaching morals and ethics, the students literally spit out fire when the teachers correct them. They just await a chance to take revenge on the teachers. But the teachers are no less; they too have no respect for the students too. There used to be a time when the Guru was considered to be great, but not the student himself is great! He feels he knows more about the teacher but fails to understand the greatest importance of his teachers.

Now a teacher’s responsibility does not end with teaching the child Math or science, his true responsibility lies in making or breaking a child’s whole life. Often a child looks up to his teacher as a role model and adapts himself to his teacher’s style. It is under the skillful tutoring of the teacher that the students flourish and bloom. An apt teacher leads to a well developed, level headed and cultured group of youngsters of tomorrow.

And it is a great honour to the teacher when his student brings him a good name. But it is very unfortunate that most of the teachers fail to imbibe in the students basic values of life. The teaching profession has infact lost its sanctity for now every thing stands on money and money alone. If the same situation continues, then our Indian culture where we see the teacher/Guru as Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh war, will be confined to the books only!!!

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