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Visionary Teachers: the Need of the Times

– Meenaz Bhanu

In order to understand and reflect upon the true meaning of Teachers’ Day, it is vital to continuously interrogate what it means to be a ‘teacher’ especially in these times, when the role of bias, discrimination and polarisation is rife within our classrooms. One such programme highlighted the need for visionary teachers, organised by the Women’s Department of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.

As part of the Teachers’ Day celebration, the Women’s Department of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind organised a national webinar on ‘Visionary Teachers: The Need of the Times’ on September 2. The event featured eminent experts from the teaching field, including Dr. Sandhya Sinha from Jamshedpur (Jharkhand), Dr. Padmaja Shaw from Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Sudha Malini from Thiruverkadu (Tamil Nadu), Mrs. Arshiya Tarannum M. from Vaniyambadi (Tamil Nadu), Mrs. Sharmila Ahmed from Kakinada (Andhra Pradesh), Mrs. Fakhra Tabassum, and Mrs. Arifa Parveen.

The webinar delved into the essence of teaching as a transformative journey and explored the evolving role of educators in shaping young minds with great passion. The speakers highlighted various critical aspects of teaching that transcend the mere delivery of information, emphasising the profound importance of nurturing knowledge and life skills.

One of the pivotal takeaways from the discussion was the concept of visionary teaching, as eloquently articulated by Dr. Sandhya Sinha. Dr. Sinha underscored that the role of the visionary teacher extends beyond the mere transmission of information; they serve as guides, directing students towards a comprehensive understanding of the world around them while helping them recognise their unique potential. Each student, she emphasised, should have a personalised plan tailored to their individual abilities and aspirations.

Other speakers elucidated the qualities of an ideal teacher, stressing the significance of leadership, collaboration, and effective communication within the teaching profession. An ideal teacher should possess not only in-depth knowledge but also employ innovative teaching methodologies, such as the Socratic method, as expounded by Sharmila Ahamed, to ignite curiosity and foster critical thinking among students.

Dr. Sudha Malini V delved into the challenges educators encounter within the modern educational landscape. She emphasised that teaching is by no means a straightforward task, and educators must stay continuously updated to meet the ever-evolving needs of students. While technology, including Artificial Intelligence, plays a role, it cannot replace the warmth and guidance that teachers provide. Discrimination has no place in the classroom, and teachers should act as compassionate guides, promoting unity among students.

Mrs. Arshiya Tarannum M passionately argued that teaching is not solely about eradicating ignorance; it is about equipping students to confront contemporary challenges. The discussion underscored the need for teachers to encourage students to ask questions, challenge the status of curiosity, and become pioneers in their quest for knowledge.

Dr. Padmaja Shaw addressed the shifting landscape of education, shedding light on the transformation occurring within the education system. Effective teaching, she asserted, imposes the encouragement of students to ask questions and engage actively, a task that can be challenging in certain school environments. The team highlighted the critical importance of nurturing a culture of curiosity and inquiry within today’s classrooms.

In conclusion, Mrs. Arifa Parveen emphasised that teaching is an ongoing struggle, but with the right vision and unwavering commitment, educators have the power to transform lives. Her closing remarks illuminated the profound impact that teachers have on their students and highlighted the ever-evolving nature of education. The insights shared by these visionary educators serve as a beacon of inspiration for the teaching community and affirm the pivotal role teachers play in shaping the future.

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