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“I am not a teacher. I cannot teach – because students can learn much more than what I know from their experiences, peer anecdotes and from internet and books. I surely am a mentor, one who is self-motivated and would like to inspire you perhaps, through my words, our initiatives, our life stories. If I can inspire you to search yourself, if I can tell you to think and not what to think, if I can lead you to find meaning in every day of your life, my job is done.
Teacher is no more the sage on the stage but a guide on the side. No teacher in the internet era can know it all, of any subject, and there are options for students to know more than the teacher on any issue. So, the job of the 21st century teacher is to be a mentor, motivator, facilitator, and first stimulus to grow interest in any theme or subject among the learners. There has to be role-alteration consciously here as a guide and co-researcher and not the last word on any issue. Students, on their part, have to move ahead as you as students merely study in classrooms, for marks and degrees and are to be spoon-fed. You have to move to the next paradigm of learners for whom classroom is just one source of learning, sometimes not even the major one, others being internet, personal and peer experiences, labs and society at large. You research, learn, explore and internalize by practising for acquiring a productive life skill.
Also, the entire degree-centric higher education needs to give place to skills and values-centric education. What are we mentoring and you learning for? To have a value-based approach to life, be responsible global citizens, and be productive for the economy and earn a decent livelihood. And none of these depends on a degree. It is just the legal power of the University, received through a decree of the government of the day, that degree looks big. For a measure of qualification, degrees are welcome. But the focus has to be on skills and values. Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook are among some major global companies who have already declared that they do not need degrees, will give no premium to degrees, but only hire based on skills and attitudes. They do not find the same degrees of the same discipline across nations or even across provinces of the same nation of any comparable quality. So learn skills, values and attitude to be a global citizen and a well rounded resource for economy. Degrees are just by-products of the system.“
Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury, Pro Vice Chancellor, Adamas University, Kolkata
“What exactly is education? My mentor Noam Chomsky says purpose of education is either learning to follow orders, or to learn how to critically think and question. In India, in spite of having such great teachers and fellow students, I never learned the latter. Coming to America, I slowly developed those skills. And now I know thinking critically, challenging the status quo, and questioning freely and without fear are the essence of education. We’re trying to be like America. But we’re only copying their vices and not virtues. Because it’s easy and lazy. Challenge the system. Question authority. Do your own research. You’re going to be proud of yourself. We need a new, thinking, analyzing India.“
Dr. Partha Banerjee, Human Rights Activist, Writer And Educator, New York
My motto has been “Have Feet. Will Dance.” So I’ve always encouraged people from all walks of life to take up dancing. Working professionals lead a sedentary lifestyle. With dance, they find a stress buster where they can disconnect for their worries and take up a hobby that they enjoy. It helps channel their mind into a positive space and adds a physical activity into their lifestyle. For me, health is a state of mind and fitness is a way of life. Dancing as a regime helps in releasing the stress that an individual goes through dealing with corporate pressure. It is an exceptional way to staying healthy. This is the most important health benefit of dance, that is aligns the mind, body and spirit.
In fact, for many it helps connect with like minded people, find friends and even network. In fact today, a lot of corporates invite my faculty to teach in the premises of their offices during / post working hours for their employees to engage in a team building art form that helps them stay fit. Dance helps build trust, not just in yourself and your body, but also in your fellow performers. The idea of being collectively responsible for something leads to better team functioning and understanding. Most of the time employees are caught up with work and a small amount of time is contributed to spending time with colleagues. Dance sessions in corporate organizations build relations and provide a chance to engage with fellow members.
Shiamak Davar, Artistic Director and Founder, Shiamak’s Dance Education
“Teachers have formed an essential support-base in the lives of students. Today they are looked up to not only as knowledge-dispensers but as mentors and friends. Their efforts and experiences have been instrumental in helping students dream of pursuing the most cherished careers. Their ability to keep up with the ever-changing landscape in their field of expertise essentially rubs onto the pupils as well. Today’s teachers have adapted themselves to reach out to a greater audience through the use of technology. The agility with which they adopt new-age topics is praise worthy, thus ensuring their pupils receive an up-to-date education. It is no surprise then that most of us remember, even after decades of graduating, those teachers who inspired us to follow our dreams.“
Nilesh Gaikwad, Country Manager, EDHEC Business school
“It is said that people come into our life for a reason, and life is just not complete without them around. One such person in my life is my mother. My First Teacher.
As the great saying goes, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. Being the only daughter after three generations, my life has been indulged with every attention, supervision, and kindness. I have tried to embody my mother’s teachings in my own life. Seeing her persevere and excel in whatever she takes into her hands, has helped me master the art of success. Victory can be achieved with consistent, committed and focused work, she asserts.
Some of the greatest life lessons she has taught me are:
- Respect is earned and not bought.
- Anger can only harm the relationship and one’s health.
- No work is small work, every work requires perfection. It can be as minor as cleaning the ground.
- We are all born with some purpose in life. So, don’t waste a moment.
A mother is, in fact, our first teacher in our life, and also a visible God. My mother, Rupal Dalal, Executive Director of JD Institute of Fashion Technology, was the daughter of a school principal. This has helped her run the institution effectively. She believes in inspiring people to take their own decision in the course of life, just as her mother would do. “When a person decides something on their own, they are bound to follow it to the end. Rather than motivating, I believe in inspiring others to make their own decisions. I strongly believe all the answers are within us,” my mother says.“
Akshra Dalal daughter Rupal Dalal, Executive Director, JD Institute of Fashion Technology
“At the inception, on this auspicious occasion of teachers day I would like to congratulate all members of the teaching community who are contributing tirelessly by spending there “ today” for building a better “tomorrow” for the nation. We all feel indebted to our teachers and that debt is heartfelt, something that we can’t even dare to repay like the debt towards our parents. Teaching as a profession has been one of the most important ones from times immemorial as it helps in laying down the foundation of a better tomorrow ! The footprint of a good teacher is indelible in the annals of human civilization as they have a everlasting and irreversible impact not only on their students but also on the families and communities that these students come from.
Considering the need to impart uniform quality education in every corner of the country, technology has a big role to play as an enabler. We need to seamlessly deliver best in class educational content prepared in a cost efficient centralized manner using the best academic brains in the country to every aspiring student who wants to come up and make a mark irrespective of his current station in life.
Teaching as a career has never been so exciting as it is in the modern world as technology ensures real time reach to any corner of the globe which our predecessors couldn’t even dream of. The opportunity of creating a better tomorrow looks tempting, I am sure our educators will live up to the challenge and make us proud as always.“
Achin Bhattacharyya, Founder & CEO, Notebook
“Teams that have good players win matches. Teams that have good coaches win tournaments. But teams that play for each other win in the long run. The benefits of women’s football program is never restricted within the football field. It transcends … It transcends into the real-life of the Girls.“
Dr. Shib Shankar Dasgupta, Executive Director, Football Coach & Mentor, Shreeja India
“Not everyone can be an engineer or doctor. The competition is so high these days that we have to look at alternative professions to take the burden and pressure away from our kids’ shoulders. There is no point being a part of rat-race that is going to leave you stressed, demotivated and disillusioned in life. If you are creative and willing to take the road less traveled, the beauty world can be your home ground. Lucrative and recession-proof, it can be a highly rewarding career for a creative and passionate mind. You can be an entrepreneur as well as open a small or big salon as per your capital and capabilities.
You can get associated with a brand or work as a freelancer. You can be a hairstylist, makeup artist or nail art expert – anything that appeals to your creative side. However, make sure, you feel the passion of making others beautiful in your heart. Second, comes learning. Whatever course you choose (hair, makeup, skin or nails) learn properly and in fact, keep learning & updating yourself with new trends and latest courses to stay in tune with the changing trends & times.“
Dr. Bharti Taneja, Founder & Director, ALPS Beauty Group
“In the age of web 3.0, where careers are evolving in a manner never seen before, It becomes essential for the academia to adopt and embrace the new age technologies to prepare industry-ready professionals. Moreover, to this purpose, the pedagogy employed in professional education needs to impart training to not only to learn but to unlearn as well. Only by complementing the technical knowledge with the flexibility and willingness to adapt and learn, the foundation of a successful professional career can be laid in the current times.“
Dr. Richa Das, Assistant Professor, Atria Institute of Technology
“Data & AI is revolutionizing the way corporates, governments & people at large operate. Focus on building talent in future tech skills like Data Science, AI, cloud etc. is going to be mission critical for economies of the future.“
JPS Kohli, Group CEO, Skill-Up Group
“The one piece of advice that I have followed all through my life is ‘realising who I am and staying true to myself’. I strongly believe that each one of us is created with different characteristics and with a definite purpose. It is good to get inspired by successful people but to create our own identity we should find our very own path to success. When we doubt ourselves and our abilities we cannot achieve the standards we are capable of. To reach our full potential, self-belief, trusting our instincts, setting goals and reaching those goals without personal compromise is essential. I have implemented this in my life and led my organization SHEMROCK & SHEMFORD Group of Schools with 650+ branches across South Asia and have empowered thousands of teachers to influence the lives of lakhs of students in the right direction.“
Meenal Arora, Founder Director, Shemford and Shemrock Group of Schools
“When I was in school my teacher used to say always put you 200% in whatever you do and never cheat yourself by reducing the efforts you are putting to achieve your goal. When I started Catalyst Group, the online learning platform I always had this piece of advice with me and it motivates me to do my best. I am a firm believer that teachers define our future and without teacher’s our lives would have no class.“
Akhand Swaroop Pandit, CEO & Founder, Catalyst Group, Online Learning Platform
“I express my gratitude to the life changers- the teachers who turn children into the most beautiful sculptures with astounding character and calibre, teachers who touch and transform lives for the good. Happy Teachers Day!!“
Alka Kapur, Principal, Modern Public School, Shalimar Bagh
“First advice by my first ever mentor in early days of my career- “it is as important to articulate your good work humbly as it is to do good work .If you don’t let others know the difference you make, then they will never know .To expect that someone will notice you and spread the word to the right people : Another one “ identity your strengths and make it a habit to focus on honing them further, you will achieve a lot more success than working on your weaknesses.“
Dipali Mathur, CEO & Co-Founder Super Smelly