World Teachers’ Day, as the name suggests, the day is celebrated to honor teachers from all around the world for their role in the economic development of their countries. Teachers are the only one who provides education to society that enhances people’s quality of life. Therefore, this special day is considered in more than 100 nations, including Australia, United States, Canada, India and the Philippines. Even UNESCO, ILO, UNICEF and Education International have jointly said, “On World Teachers’ Day, we are not only celebrating every teacher. We are calling on countries to invest in them and prioritize them in global education recovery efforts so that every learner has access to a qualified and supported teacher. Let’s stand with our teachers!”
This day has been dedicated to teachers every year so that we all can thank them for all that they have done. This year the theme of World Teachers’ Day is ‘Teachers at the Heart of Education Recovery.’ This theme recognizes teachers for their efforts even during times like the COVID-19. World Teachers’ Day also sheds focus on teachers’ working conditions and job prospects across the world, as well as the ways in which they are discriminated against. On this World Teachers’ Day, let’s go through the five inspirational Indian educators who helped in transforming society.
World Teacher’s Day: Five Inspirational Educators From India
- Rabindranath Tagore: He is the first non-European person to win a Nobel Prize in Literature. He is known for reshaping the structural framework of Bengali literature and music, along with other Indian art forms with the advent of modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He took learning out of the four walls. In 1901, he established the Shantiniketan Brahmacharya Ashram, with just five students. Later, Shantiniketan grew to become a university town. A combination of Tagore’s life experiences gave us the gift of his immense talent in poetry, prose, songwriting, and art.
- Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan: Teachers’ Day in India is celebrated on 5th September every year. On this day, students express their gratitude and thank their teachers for their constant support. It is also celebrated to mark the birth anniversary of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. Dr Radhakrishnan was the first Vice-President and the second President of independent India. He is identified for introducing western philosophies into Indian society. From being the Vice-Chancellor of Andhra Pradesh University to giving lectures at Manchester College, Oxford, he established himself as a great educationist. He was not only a meritorious student but also a celebrated teacher and donned many hats. Dr Radhakrishnan was nominated multiple times for the Nobel Prize and was also graced with the Bharat Ratna award in 1954.
- APJ Abdul Kalam: The former President said: “If the people remember me as a good teacher, that will be the biggest honor for me.” Minutes before his death, Mr. Kalam was teaching students at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong. He is known worldwide for his efforts to promote education. He taught IT at the IIIT, Hyderabad and tech at BHU and Anna University. He was also associated with IIM Shillong, Ahmedabad, and Indore as a visiting lecturer. To honor him and his love for students, the United Nations had in 2010 declared his birth anniversary (15th October) as World Students’ Day.
- Anand Kumar: He is a mathematician and also the brain behind a successful, globally respected program that provides free IIT entrance coaching to 30 meritorious students from the poorest families every year. His students are known to have a high success rate, with all 30 acing the JEE (Advanced) in 2017, 28 in 2016, and 26 in 2018. Hrithik Roshan-starrer Bollywood film, ‘Super 30’, was based on his life.
- Babar Ali: A teacher from West Bengal’s Murshidabad, started imparting education even when he was a student. His tuition-free school in his family house’s backyard helped in improving literacy in the area. He was figured as a ‘Social Entrepreneur’ in the ’30 under 30′ list of ‘FORBES ASIA’. Furthermore, on the eve of 71st Republic Day, President Ram Nath Kovind had mentioned Babur Ali in his speech. In 2019 as well, BBC named him the “youngest headmaster in the world.”
Teachers work so hard so that they can help young people learn and grow, just like Harry had Dumbledore, Ashok had Chanakya. Teachers shape future generations, devoting one day each year to thanking them is the least we can do. Remember that teachers are important no matter where we are on the globe today.