We, The Teachers

A teacher plays a vital role in shaping the destiny of not only a young student but also that of a society and that of a nation.  Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, the former President of India in his book, Inspiring Thoughts, says, “A teacher has a great mission to ignite the minds of the young. Not only does the teacher provide knowledge, but the teacher also shapes the student’s life with great dreams and aims“. 

 Let me share some economic and demographic indicators about our country, India,  to bring out as to how important the role of a teacher is:

  • The economy of India is growing rapidly and is currently, the eleventh largest in the world by nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which stands at US $ 1676.143 billions. Sustaining and improving upon this economic growth would demand availability of suitable human resources.

  • As per GDP by sector, services sector has the distinction of having the highest share of 55.6% of GDP followed by industry and agriculture having 26.3% and 18.1% respectively. India is moving from an agrarian economy to services and manufacturing economy. Many people presently engaged in agricultural activities are likely to shift to the other lucrative sectors and would need to be re-skilled.

  • As per Census 2011, India, with 1,210,193,422 (1.21 billion) people, is the second most populous country in the world. It is about 17.5% of the world’s population, which means one out of six people on this planet lives in India. 
  • With the population growth rate at 1.58%, India, by 2030,  is expected to be the most populous country in the world with population of 1.53 billion people.  The increase in the population density, will put immense pressure on the natural resources and infrastructural facilities, thereby affecting the quality of life. 
  • More than 50% of India’s current population is below the age of 25 years and over 60% below the age of 35 years, which means every second Indian is a youth bubbling with energy which needs to be timely channelized in the right direction. 
  • The effective literacy rate is on the rise and currently stands at 74% of the total population aged seven years and above. The balance 26% are illiterates. In absolute terms, this equals 0.27 billion, the largest illiterate population in the world. 
  • The number of female literates is on the rise as compared to the male literates. The gap in literacy rate among males and females is narrowing down. This trend is likely to have far-reaching consequences on the development of the society.

Population is one of the constituents of national power. India can truly become a powerful nation if youth are prepared timely and empowered rightly. We need to develop our youth so that the demographic dividend can be realized. It is certainly a colossal task and needs to be undertaken urgently to develop the human resources.

Thus, the key challenge before India today is to develop her human capital. Government of India is making endeavours to provide knowledge and skills to our youth and illiterate through several initiatives like  Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA), Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan (RMSA)vocational training and literacy programmes to address this situation in the right earnest. But, eventually, it is the teachers who have to accept this challenge and shoulder the responsibility of educating our young minds. The quality of education imparted to our students will decide the quality of our human capital, which in turn will determine the quality of life  that we lead and  the course our nation would eventually traverse. 

We, the teachers, need to act with responsibility, wisdom and alacrity, to ensure that we not only ignite and shape the young minds of our students with value-based education, but also take our society and nation to greater heights of success.

To sum up this post, I quote the words of  ‘Dr. Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan:

” Education is not only imparting information and training of skills. It has to give the educated a proper sense of values.”

Lastly; this blog post is dedicated to scholar, statesman, philosopher, Bharat Ratna, Dr. Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, our former President (1962-67) and Vice President (1952-62) of India, whose birthday is celebrated as the Teachers’ Day on 05 September. 

N.B. The title of this blog post is inspired by the title of the book We, The Nation by Nani A. Palkhivalathe famous jurist and economist.


16 thoughts on “We, The Teachers

  1. great blog Sir, really with such an immense youth power we can be one of the greatest nations of the world. One more important thing to do is to make quality education available to our villages and small towns where major chunk of our population lives so that we can make a better use of this youth power.

  2. Sir… You have made a very pertinent point… What was once considered a drawback for India has become a great advantage… Our population… However it is a highly risky situation… If it is not nurtured properly, our Demographic Dividend will turn in to a Demographic Disaster… If the youth energy is not channelized in to productive and constructive activities through professional, human-value-centric & ethical education, we will land up in to much worse social problems than those that we witness today. In my view providing professional education is not very difficult… young minds can acquire it through internet and various other sources accessible far easily today… There are innumerable resources for this, a Teacher being only one of them… However a Teacher is very very special and important in that s/he is a live resource and is a role model for young minds… s/he has the capacity and opportunity to pass on her/his professional knowledge bundled along with human-value-centric and ethical behavior… these are things that are best learnt through role models… And here is the importance and responsibility of a Teacher… Through her/his character, a Teacher builds the future of the student, family, society, nation and the world… that is why teacher comes ahead of even God…

    गुरु गोविन्द दोउ खड़े, काके लागूं पाय,
    बलिहारी गुरु आपनी, गोविन्द दियो बताय.

    May all teachers rise to this position and responsibility…

    • Sir, the situation, though challenging, is not insurmountable… I am confident that we, the people of this nation, shall rise to the occasion… The song below… truly echoes my feelings…
      “हम होंगे कामयाब एक दिन
      मन में है विश्वास, पूरा है विश्वास
      हम होंगे कामयाब एक दिन…”

  3. Very Informative & Inspiring blog Sir!!

    “By nature all people are alike, but by education they become different.”

  4. Very good and informative blog sir !!!!

    Its contains some data and facts about which I was not aware at all. Its a truly judged matter.

  5. Nice to read your views on education in India.

    It is evident that we are lagging in quality of education. As you mentioned it, we are a young nation and we need literate and educated people to drive the future of the nation.

    Teachers are no different people. They are one among us. They are imparting what they have learnt over a period of time with experience, be it curriculum or about values in life.

    India is not just missing a strong high quality education system but also skilled teachers to handle the generation. Government should give priority to not just infrastructure but also to scale up the skill set of Teachers at all levels.

    We definitely have good Teachers for a few lucky students in India but not every one is lucky.

    No offence meant to anybody, I am just presenting my views on education system in India not on any individual or a group of people.

  6. I was reading, the 8th habit by stephen covey and some magical words are worth noting from the inspiring book, ‘Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance’.I feel that today we can’t overlook what impact our teachings have on our society.

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