National Teachers Day in India- What are Teachers' Role in Building a Just Society?

India commemorates September 5 as National Teachers' Day to honour a philosopher teacher, Dr. Radhakrishnan.  Some thought on this day about teachers' role in building a just society.

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What are the teacher's roles?

Teacher's roles change from time to time to accommodate national and global changes.  His or her role was solely knowledge imparting in the traditional times.  A certified person took the token of a social leader then.  A teacher must be in many roles- knowledge imparter, mentor, counsellor, guide, role model, etc. in the present time.

Nothing beyond what the teacher/guru pronounced was taken knowledge once.  And guru was born a god. And learning wasn't in the preview of those considered low.  Now, the internet and AI devices such as ChatGPT are coming with answers at a seeker's finger's touch.  

The world is expanding, and also human priorities.  Just holding ranks or higher degrees and certificates does not qualify someone as a leader in forming a just society.  Failure or a lower credit in a controlled examination does not merely decide an individual's total value and success in her life.  Your humanity and views towards building a just society are equally or more important than your certificates or ranks.  

  • A teacher's role in knowledge construction.

A teacher's primary role is still imparting knowledge, but she or he is not the only storehouse of knowledge.  The knowledge must qualify a person to fully develop a learner's potential.  This potential includes not simply earning money and status but how to be a good person.  A teacher should impart knowledge for life and not merely to earn a certificate.  

  • A teacher as a role model.

A teacher is not acting as a role model but is a role model for the learners.  They unknowingly model the lives of many young learners and why they are rejected by many learners. 

  • A teacher as a parent.

A teacher is supposed to act as a parent, but that does not mean he or she can replace a parent in the lives of young learners.  She can act as an honest connection between the parents and the young learners and not in the interest of her own bias or dogmas. (The parents are the primary source of value builders in a young learner's life and cannot leave that responsibility solely with the teachers.)

  • A teacher as a counsellor.

A learner today carries the burden of a society that is materially developing and not just.  A teacher should have a realistic and sensible understanding of this world and be sensitive to the socio-psychological and political traumas they suffer from.

These are some of my National Teachers Day thoughts.  What are your thoughts on teachers' role in the ever-evolving present day?

This is the 7/10 post in the Blog Chatter Half Marathon.