As an educationist any aspect of change in the teacher student relationship impacts me deeply and leads me to introspect and reflect on my role in modern day India. We have long been proud of our traditional methods of education and such hallowed relationships like the one between the teacher and the learner (the guru and the shishya) have been seen as sacrosanct.
Recently there have been many instances which portray this beautiful relationship in a new light – not always positive. Are these rare incidences or do they symbolise the deep chasm that seems to have developed between the tutor and the taught and are they a sign of the times? This has struck at the very basic root of the educational system in India and has created unease and led to soul searching. Indeed it is a wakeup call. If only we could open our eyes, look with compassion and listen with our hearts.
More than that, we have to lend our ears to the pleas of the teaching fraternity toiling under great duress and struggling to enlighten the minds of the future citizens of our nation. Education should be the one area of constant revision, change and improvement for any country which seeks to establish itself as a world power. Revolutionary progress is much needed at all levels of our education system. A complete overhauling of the system and a more open minded approach to teaching and learning should be our clarion call.
Much needs to be done. A constructive and effective dialogue has to be set up between the teachers, the parents and the students. The channels of communication and facilitation should be opened and widened so as to allow for more awareness and understanding. Parents and teachers both have a great impact on the psyche of a young child. If the home environment is conducive and children are encouraged to respect their teachers, then the school too will become a place of illumination and learning. Creating an optimistic feeling towards school and teachers will only help parents to enable their children to establish strong bonds with their alma mater and their teachers. Similarly, school staff too needs to be sensitised to the pressures faced by parents and children today and be facilitated to handle them with sensitivity and sensibility. This will lead to mutual respect and acceptance and further strengthening of the teacher student symbiotic relationship.
Let us begin this noble task. Let us build bridges. Let us make platforms that will enable our future citizens to fly high.