 It is a pleasure to be at the 65th Annual Convocation of Govt. College of Education, Chandigarh.

Dear Young Teachers,

 Today marks an important day in your lives and a significant milestone in your academic journey.

 You are now ready to head out into the world, equipped with the required qualification.

 You entered into this institution after fighting intense competition, you pursued your academic work with dedication and now you have earned your degrees and awards.

 It is a moment of pride for you as much as it is for your teachers, parents and all those who had contributed in shaping your life so far.

 You are among a fortunate few who have had access to an educational experience at this renowned institution.

This experience will reward you throughout your life.


 Knowledge is the supreme power.

 But, mere accumulation of basic knowledge is of limited practical use, unless it is translated into innovations and providing ethical, social and economic values.

 It is transfer of knowledge for human growth that has revolutionized  this world.

 George Bernard Shaw has very rightly said, “To me, the sole hope of human salvation lies in teaching”.

 Your profession is prestigious, with ample scope for development – development of inner self to become a true mentor and guide.

 The growth of a country lies in the hands of all its young teachers!

 All the great leaders and renowned professionals will agree that they have learned valuable organization skills and personal development skills from their teachers.

 Some students are great, not because they are born with greatness, but because teachers helped them to become what they are today.

 We, in India, are inheritors of a sacred tradition in which our gurus, saints and seers have selflessly nurtured our minds and shaped our intellect. 

 Imparting knowledge, has, down the ages, been a very methodical, painstaking and sacred transaction in an atmosphere of trust and reverence.

 It is ingrained in us to believe that while our parents give us life, it is our "gurus” that shape our character and aspirations.

 Mahatma Gandhi said and I quote, “I have always felt that the true text book for the pupil is his teacher”(unquote).

 The compassion, understanding and motivation of a teacher determines the future of every child.

 Every gesture, every action, every thought of the teacher silently hones the personality of the child!

 As they say, “values are caught and that they can rarely be taught”. So, the teachers' own behavior and their communication with the students, the way they manage the classrooms, it will ensure that equality, democracy, the values of peace and working together become an integral part of the school ethos.

 It is you who have to mould the youth of the country into the productive professionals and good human beings.

 Discourage rote learning and over emphasis on marks or grades.

 Encourage critical thinking and a spirit of enquiry. In our tradition, Jigyasa (जिज्ञासा) or curiosity for learning was encouraged.  It was given greater importance than Jigeesha (जिगीषा) or the wish to win a debate or argument.

 The Buddhist tradition gave us the philosophy of kshanikvada (क्षणिकवाद) which means everything is momentary.

 Modern world is fast changing; it is difficult to predict what the world of 2050 will look like. It is equally difficult to predict the skill sets that will be needed after a few decades.

 I firmly believe ‘How to learn’ is more important than ‘what to learn’ because the contents of learning keep changing. The fundamental skills of learning remain useful even when the contents keep changing.

 I call upon all of you, the teachers, young and old to encourage the habit of asking questions and expressing doubts among the students. By answering more and more questions and resolving doubts, your knowledge will also increase.

 Here, I would like to remember Lord Shri Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita as a great teacher who guided his disciple Arjuna through a two-day dialogue.

 Consider the Gita as an example of the art of teaching. In the beginning, Arjun says to Shri Krishna “I am your disciple, help me with your guidance”. Sri Krishna's response to Arjuna is marked by his affectionate and patient answers and explanations.

 At the end of the dialogue, after explaining the various paths available to Arjuna, Sri Krishna tells him , यथा इच्छासि तथा कुरु, meaning do as you wish.

 Thus, a teacher provides a variety of solutions and also gives freedom of choice to the pupil.

 From the point of view of psychology, the dialogue between the Guru, Krishna and the disciple, Arjun in the Gita has both intellectual and emotional elements. Similarly, every communication between a teacher and his student must contain both of these elements.

 Our teachers should avoid giving one-sided lectures and encourage students to engage in free discussions with them.

 Sri Aurobindo has said, “A teacher is not an instructor or a task-master, he is a helper and guide.” His job is to suggest, not to impose.

 He or she does not actually train the student's mind, rather shows him how to master the tools of his knowledge and helps and encourages him in the process. He does not give him knowledge, but shows him how to acquire knowledge for himself.”

 There is a popular saying about teachers:

The mediocre teacher tells.

The good teacher explains.

The superior teacher demonstrates.

The great teacher inspires.

 I believe that an ideal teacher has all the four qualities. Such teachers are truly nation-builders as they shape the lives of their students.

 Remember, imparting education is no mean task and no teacher can ever take his or her job lightly. The responsibility of preparing an informed, intellectual and moral citizen is huge.

 I call upon you to be the catalyst for change and I am confident that each one of you has the capability to contribute towards the country’s growth.

 I once again congratulate all of you and wish you all the best and remind you that the India’s story has to be scripted by you.

 Let “Serve to Educate, Educate to Serve”, be your motto.

Thank you,

Jai Hind.