By: Dr. Jayadeba Sahoo
Every profession has its own role and impact on individuals by means of serving various sections of the society. Amongst all, the teaching profession is inspiring and a noble one. In the olden days, Gurus used to have their disciples live with them; and used to take care of their all-round development. The gurus did not use to teach so passionately considering teaching to be a ‘profession’ but because of realizing their great responsibility in the making of future citizens.
Once our former President Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam said in a seminar that three persons are crucial in making anyone a good citizen viz. mother, father and the elementary teacher. Students are like blank sheets of paper, who take any impression from their teacher. The practical lives of the teachers have more effective and lasting impact on them. It is the teachers only, who can facilitate the students to inquire, explore, think and express different views and discern the value of life.
Value education is a hot topic these days. Many schools teach values as subjects but values have to be captured by the young minds from their teachers first. When teachers fail to embody these values in their behaviour, it is impossible to shape the future citizens and the task of making a better world becomes difficult. A teacher who is attempting to teach without inspiring the pupil is as if someone would be hammering on old iron. Teachers, thus have enormous potential within them, to make the students march towards excellence or perfection. They must honestly kindle the young minds.
Do the teachers of today understand their role as a builder of the nation?
Most of the teachers neither understand the importance of their role as a builder of the nation or a society nor do they evince any sign of such great responsibility. The students also do not have humility and regard for the teachers which has resulted in collapse of total educational system.
Many years ago, the University of Delhi increased the teachers’ workload from 15 hours to 16.5 hours a week, which was protested by the Delhi University Teacher’s Association. They even struck work for a week. The message was quite clear that now; the teachers consider teaching to be a burden, which is an indication of the downfall of the nobleness they have attained from their profession. Teaching has now been reduced to a trade and their confrontational methods and the statements on crisis issues come from trade unions. These unionized teachers are concerned more about their working conditions/ allowances/ promotions than the future of their students.
Teachers must put sincere efforts to inject quality into the educational process. Some immoral teachers help students to adopt unfair means to pass their examinations and hence defame their noble profession. Lack of morality in the teachers may result in proliferation and characterlessness in teaching, which would not only affect all segments of the society, but also, all the spheres of human activity. Teachers further fuel corruption and moral degradation by compelling students for tuitions or by taking more care of the tuition students than those of the class.
A private school teacher was not giving rank to an intelligent student, who scored very high marks because she didn’t join her tuition even after compulsion. Finally, her Father had to intervene and complain to the principal to bring about change in the attitude of the teacher. Most of the teachers are unable to leave any inspirational effect on the impressionable minds of the students due to lack of values in their own life.
Teachers, who prepare the students only for a profession, for a consumer-oriented society, do not cater for the moral side at all. There is no doubt that teachers can produce great scientists, engineers, doctors, scholars, management experts, etc. but if these professionals do not have peace of mind and qualities like love and kindness, then what kind of society would we have? Teachers, who neglect the total moral dimension of the students, are responsible for our demoralized – commercialized society up to a great extent. The experience of immense pressure by memorising huge volumes of information, which is the only possible way to score well in the exams robs our students of the joy of learning. Some teachers are so strict that they behave like a dictator imposing on the students whatever they say. They discourage the students to ask any question or express what they think.
Teachers with Moral Orientation
Only those teachers, who maintain a balance between flexibility and firmness, can make and shape the students well. In most of the schools, the students maintain discipline due to the fear of punishment. “If teachers lose the strength of their character, how will they be able to build the character of the succeeding generations?” If sugar loses its sweetness, then how will the things be sweetened? If teachers do not have discipline, how can we have a self-regulated nation or society? So let our teachers rise to the occasion, pick up the gauntlet and accept their responsibility with a spirit of enthusiasm and, first set their own house in order. Value education should be introduced as a subject in Teacher’s Training course. Due to the moral touch, the trainee teachers will be inspired to inculcate values. Education is not merely a process of transmitting knowledge or teaching arts and skills but also developing the total personality of students.
Teachers not only should be well versed in their subject and innovative in their teaching methods but also exemplary in their conduct. The builders of the future generation, teachers, need to focus on character, moral value and ethics. Value education in order to be effective, must be woven into the teaching process instead of being imparted as a subject, which is ignored by most of the students. Only then our education system can be called as qualitative in its true sense. To make our teachers inspirational, it is necessary to include formal lessons in moral and human values in the teaching curriculum.
Prajapita Brahma Kumaris Ishwariya Vishwa Vidyalaya (PBKIVV) has that infrastructure at its headquarters and retreat centers, where teachers could go through a course in moral education while staying.
Brahma Kumaris in the service of Teachers
PBKIVV has a number of dedicated persons who have either served in the education field or are still doing that. Hence, they have an experience in imparting moral education. It also has a large number of dedicated sisters who can not only teach this subject, but also inspire students by their exemplary conduct and character.
The faculty members of this institution visit various schools, colleges and universities on invitation, to inspire the staff members and students by their elevated knowledge and meditation.
Let us realize before it is too late, that it is RajYoga meditation that removes mental tension, injustice, dishonesty and other kinds of inhuman behaviour. Understanding the theory of the laws of karma, teachers should change their attitude towards the students and their profession by means of spiritual knowledge and world’s only open eyed meditation, which is RajYoga Meditation of Brahma Kumaris. One must, therefore, help in this noble task by encouraging more and more people to join Brahma Kumaris, who is selflessly building a better society.
A mediocre teacher tells, a good teacher explains, the superior teacher demonstrates and the great teacher inspires.
(The author is a Faculty, Brahma Kumaris & (Ex-Head & Dean), Dept. of Education, R.G.U. [email protected]
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