The master-student bond

There have been long debates on the problems with our education system. Through some of my earlier posts I too have mentioned my opinion on the issue. All said and done, then why is the change not happening? Why doesn’t the student directly start questioning the teacher? Why is the ice not broken yet?

The answer lies deep in the mindset of we Indians. We are probably the only country where a teacher is referred to as “masterji”. And I don’t think this is merely a coincidence that the principal is the “headmaster”. Master is the antonym of “slave”, as a matter of fact. And looking back to the age old education system of India, the teacher-student relationship is no less than a master and his slave. The teachers of our ancestors were known for the type of punishment they gave, as we hear from them. Going even deeper into history, a student was supposed adhere to all his teacher’s needs- through “seva”.

The quality of education has diminished but the mindset prevails. A teacher in Europe accepts and responds to his student’s questions, no matter how ridiculous they are. The teacher knows that one of his student may even win a Nobel prize or Fields medal in the years to come. They call each other by names. In India, the teacher has a reputation to protect while the student has a mixed feeling of fear and ego, and bechara innovation dies unnoticed. This “master-student” (read “master-slave”) bond has to change to the teacher-student bond. The sooner that happens, the better it is!

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4 responses to “The master-student bond

  1. These days the bright moon is at the top of the sky, immediately after sunset.

    Just step out of the house and I am immersed it the milky glow. It is so soothing.

    I like to sit anywhere, enjoying the the nectary rays of the Chanda-mama, as children lovingly call this mysterious heavenly body ! Amruta-kiranan is another word for this God of love.

    A few tufts of clouds flit slowly across the sky. Many bright stars are seen , giving company to their queen.

    It is so calm and quiet ….

  2. India, is a country, which is attacked and ruled by many rulers of different cultures from past many centuries. Mughal’s ruled us from mid 15th Century (1526 to be precise) till 1725 (nearly 200 years) after which the rule was shared by different provinces of our own country leading to further instability. Then the rule was taken by Britishers who ruled for more than a century. Having been ruled by people of so many different cultures, who imposed their ideologies and way of living on the defeated wisdom, do you really believe, the culture we see of a Guru- Shishya system, we see today is our own culture or is from some other culture?
    Culture is the first casualty of war. India was a country of peace and highly advanced. One of the most powerful texts of all times “the upanishads” were passed on from one generation to another, perfectly intact, and not by text, but by mouth of word, and the way they did was amazing. They used to give students a food for thought asking them to find answer by themselves, thus truly making learning a learning experience and not something to cram. I really doubt, if the culture we called Indian, has anything remotely to do with what was Indian once upon a time!

  3. 500 years means, nearly 7 generations gone. With the rulers from other cultures imposing their culture and way of living on us, I really doubt if anything we see today (both good or bad) has anything remotely to do with what would have once evolved as an Indian culture in thousands of years of peace and growth.

  4. Pingback: Flying with science | Sourav Roy

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