Why Do We Celebrate Teacher’s Day
Today, September 5, 2022, is celebrated as Teacher’s Day in India. It also coincides with the birthday of the great scholar and Bharat Ratna recipient, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who was India’s second President. According to history, when Dr Radhakrishnan was approached by his students to celebrate his birthday, he told them to celebrate the 5th of September as Teacher’s Day instead.
In his words, “Instead of celebrating my birthday separately, it would be my proud privilege if 5th September is observed as Teacher’s Day.” This is why the day has been celebrated since 1967. It marks the first pass at thinking about how teachers can be honoured in the same way Dr Radhakrishnan’s life is commemorated in the annals of Indian history.
The “Great Teacher” Dr Radhakrishnan
Dr Radhakrishnan taught Philosophy at Chennai’s Presidency College when he was less than 30 years old and later at Calcutta University. He also became the Vice Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University and Andhra University. He had left for Oxford soon after completing his tenure at these universities, where he taught at Manchester College in 1926, 1929 and 1930, after which he was appointed as Haskell lecturer in Comparative Religion at the University of Chicago.
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru said this about Dr Radhakrishnan: “He has served his country in many capacities. But above all, he is a great teacher from whom all of us have learnt much and will continue to learn. It is India’s peculiar privilege to have a great philosopher, a great educationist and a great humanist as her President. That in itself shows the kind of men we honour and respect.” Nehru was a close friend of Dr Radhakrishnan. Both were seen together often, and there are many photographs that were taken of both of them.
Teachers at Orchids the International School
Today a lot of students celebrate this day with pomp and passion. At Orchids, many students thank their teachers on this day too. They are the real gurus who have worked tirelessly for them since they stepped into its corridors. This is how the guru-shishya relationship has worked in India since Adam was a boy. The sacred relationship has been cherished throughout the ages since the Vedas, right up till Teacher’s Day, when the modern student is equipped with revolutionary technologies that push and pull knowledge towards her. Today is a good day to pay obeisance to the guru and to cherish and remember the many glorious moments spent with her.
Our teachers take care when instilling values in your children. At Orchids, we ensure that they are bound by decorum and are entirely at ease with the learning process. We strike a balance between academics and cocurricular, enabling your child to learn, relearn and adapt what she has studied into the lived experience. We underscore their learning abilities by giving them the requisite knowledge for them to foster a sense of self in the outer world, where they will be confronted with challenges.
At Orchids, we employ digital technologies to improve your child’s learning process. We have digital classrooms and the BYOD – Bring Your Own Device initiative.
Revering the Guru
Indian culture has a history replete with instances where the guru is revered. Right from the Ramayana to the Mahabharata, we can find many examples of how great Kings have ruled the roost, but with great goodness and compassion, they have wielded enormous chariots and fought for the freedom of the righteous. Teacher’s Day is emblematic of these war heroes who continue to inspire generations today. Dr. Radhakrishnan, being a philosopher, would have agreed with the premise that ancient lore has had its implications in the modern world.
The guru-sishya parampara is unique to India. While Plato and Socrates did follow a similar pattern of tradition in ancient Greece, our tradition continues to exist today. It can be said that the guru is the teacher. Of course, we are not referring to the Guru with a capital G as that is different. In the context of Teacher’s Day, it is the guru which we mean – the teachers at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels who don the hat of instructors to ennoble students’ minds.
So this Teacher’s Day, do not forget to be a little humble before your guru who has taught you everything from A to Z. Celebrate them, not only today, because they are the ones who make your foundation strong! We wish a very happy teacher’s day to all the teachers who dedicate their lives to the betterment of future generations!