President Pranab Mukherjee has said that an inspired teacher is a value-oriented, mission-driven, self-motivated and result-oriented individual, who works towards impacting the environment in a positive manner through his own actions as well as by imparting knowledge amongst the students to help them achieve their potential.
“An inspired teacher links the individual goals of the students to the societal and national goals,” President Mukherjee said.
“True teachers are those who use themselves as bridges over which they invite their students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create their own,” he added while quoting Greek writer and philosopher Nikos Kazant-zakis.
President Mukherjee said that there was a need to give dignity and recognition to quality teachers.
“It was essential that such inspired teachers be recognized so that they have motivation and drive,” he added.
The President said that the big challenge India faced currently was the quality of teaching and learning in the nation’s higher academic institutions.
“Without upgrading the skill and knowledge quotient of a vast majority of the teachers, it would not be possible to improve standards of education in our country. India today needs many more competent teachers willing to dedicate themselves to improving the quality of education,” he said.
President Mukherjee further said that despite the proliferation of institutions for higher education seen in recent years, it was the quality of education imparted that poses serious concern.
“If we look into our past, we were leaders of higher education and could find seats of higher learning such as Nalanda, Takshashila, Vikramashila, Valabhi, Somapura and Odantapuri which dominated the world for a long period of time. However today, we lose meritorious Indian students who go abroad to pursue higher studies,” said President Mukherjee.
“Nobel laureates such as Har Gobind Khorana, Subramaniam Chandrasekhar and Dr. Amartya Sen did their graduate or post-graduate studies in Indian universities but went abroad for higher learning. We are capable of producing world-class scholars but lose them to foreign universities,” he added.
President Mukherjee emphasized that a change in this position is possible through our collective efforts.
Thirty-one inspired teachers from Central Universities across the country participating in an ‘In-Residence’ programme of Rashtrapati Bhavan called on the President yesterday.
The inspired teachers were unanimous in saying that for them it was a lifetime opportunity to be participants of the week long ‘In Residence’ Programme.
They also said that this had been an empowering, engaging and motivating experience for them and made them feel more responsible to excel in their role as teachers.
The In-Residence programme for inspired teachers was announced by the President at the annual conference of Vice Chancellors of Central Universities on February 5.
Similar programmes already exist for writers, artists, grass root innovators and NIT students.