Each year, Teacher’s Day is celebrated on the 5th of September in India. Teacher’s Day is marked in honour of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who was born on September 5, 1888. Dr Radhakrishnan was India’s first vice president and second president. He was a great scholar, philosopher and Bharat Ratna recipient. Since 1962 – the year he became president – India has commemorated Dr Radhakrishnan’s birth anniversary by paying tribute to its teachers and gurus on this day. Read on to find out more about the importance, significance and history of Teacher’s Day in India.
The first Teachers’ Day was celebrated in India in 1962. This is the year when Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan began serving as the second president of India. To celebrate his esteemed position, his students suggested that his birthday be celebrated as ‘Radhakrishnan Day’.
Dr Radhakrishnan was a celebrated academic. He taught at Chennai’s Presidency College and Calcutta University. He served as Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University from 1931 to 1936. In 1936, Dr Radhakrishnan was invited to fill the Chair of Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at Oxford which he retained for 16 years.
Radhakrishnan was awarded India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna, in 1984 and the British Order of Merit in 1963. He passed away on April 17, 1975 and has till date been nominated eleven times for the Nobel Peace prize.
“He has served his country in many capacities. But above all, he is a great teacher from whom all of us have learnt much and will continue to learn. It is India’s peculiar privilege to have a great philosopher, a great educationist and a great humanist as her President,” Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru once said on Radhakrishnan.
Every year, on September 5, classrooms across India fill up with greeting cards, chocolates, flowers and performances as student showcase what their teachers mean to them. We all appreciate the vital role that teachers play in shaping the future, but do we really know why we celebrate Teachers’ Day?
Despite all his achievements and contributions, Radhakrishnan remained a teacher throughout his life. Teachers’ Day is celebrated to honour the memory of India’s first Vice President and to commemorate the importance of teachers in our lives.
Though World Teachers’ Day falls on October 5, every country celebrates it on different dates. In India, it is observed on September 5 – the birthday of a great teacher, philosopher and statesman, Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan. Dr Radhakrishnan always held that “teachers should be the best minds in the country.”
How Teachers’ Day is celebrated
In India, Teachers’ Day is celebrated across schools on his birthday. Cultural programmes and events are organised in schools and colleges. Students bring flowers, sweets and cards for their teachers to express their gratitude and love. Senior students dress up in formals and take/supervise classes so that teachers can take a break and enjoy the celebrations. The role reversal also helps them put themselves in their teachers’ shoes.
Happy Teachers’ Day
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