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The Beautiful Teacher Student Bond

Guys, let’s get one thing right before we begin. I am not going to talk about the generation of ‘pranam guru.’ Those days are long gone. Having said that, I am not completely dismissing that respect factor in the teacher student bond, which has maybe lost its relevance in today’s times. But in earlier times, the guru-shishya relationship was all about blind trust, dedication, commitment and so on. That’s something I feel is a bit too far-fetched and unreal in today’s times. Students used to live in gurukuls and education was imparted in natural surroundings. History has a plethora of such wonderful examples where this teacher student bond is just beyond explanation, like of Guru Dronacharya and Arjun. Since the time of Dronacharya (the teacher/guru of kauravas and pandavas in Mahabharat), the teaching process has been flourishing. But gurus were always put on a pedestal and students below the teachers.

Fast forward through history and here’s Gen Y. Today’s children greet with a Hi! From the absolute and mum surveillance, we’ve moved on to a more rational and questioning atmosphere today in classrooms. The modern teacher student bond is beyond the stereotypes and not defined by obedience and acceptance. The relationship is of understanding each other’s requirements and coming to terms with each other’s expectations.

Over the years, the guru- shishya relationship has gone through a drastic change. With the advancement of technology, students have access to information at the click of the button or stretch of the hand. They don’t solely depend on teachers for trivial information. Instead, the teacher’s role has become more challenging to cope up with the advancement in technology.

The interactive and much-needed teaching-learning aids like laptops, smart boards, videos, web links, etc., have enhanced the education process. Today, teachers make use of the internet extensively. So, when flipping the pages of the text book feels time-consuming, the internet comes to the rescue. The Massive Open Online Courses (free online courses), coding websites, YouTube playlists on various subjects are all examples of the effective use of the internet for the benefit of students.

The Flip Side

The new-age students have all the information, if not wisdom, so they test, verify and often question what a teacher says in the classroom from facts available on the internet. Sometimes, they also feel that the teachers are redundant. The respect, which was integral to the classroom atmosphere, has simply flown out of the window. Though, I don’t intend to generalize this situation.

Students today are more smart than before, and so the teachers are more of facilitators there. There is no such charm in the relationship between the teacher and student like before. Teachers teach, and students learn; that’s it. The lack of affection and intimacy have made things worse, creating a huge communication gap between the teacher and the student.

The machine and mechanical system of today’s times has replaced human nature and behavior. As such, some teachers also behave “inhumanly” sometimes. Many suicide cases of school and college kids, molestation and rape cases, and other school-related crime clearly show that something is wrong at a very large scale. In many ways, teaching is no longer a duty but a way to earn money. After schools and colleges, teachers also take private tuitions and encourage their students to take these classes. This is tarnishing the most valued teacher-student relationship because, with money in the picture, everything else takes a back seat.

The Need of the Hour

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Children spend 6-7 hours a day in the classrooms with their teachers. So, the teacher is not only a giver of education and knowledge but also a person who sets moral values for students.

The need of the hour is for the society to try and bring back the guru-shishya system, though with a modern touch. Teachers or gurus should again become the epitome of knowledge and ethics as well as love and caring. Even students should be willing learners, who respect and regard the teacher as a beacon who would lead them on the right path.

So, the system actually requires an overhauling of the entire mindset. To understand the change required, we need to go back to our Indian roots and realize that the guru is more important than anyone else in the world.

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