Most of you would have read in the newspaper, a report about a 14 year old IX standard school boy stabbing and killing on the spot his language teacher in a Chennai School during the week 11 Feb 2012. The lady teacher, a mother of two girl children, died on the spot almost instantaneously.
The news had sent shockwaves in the entire city.
How did a boy of 14, hailing from an affluent family, get the verve to kill someone, of all the people his own Hindi teacher? Young boys when provoked would go and fight and cause physical harm to his opponent but he would never think in terms of murdering his rival.
In this particular case, the boy was determined to kill her and not merely assault her. He went to school that morning with a dagger only to kill this teacher to give vent to his fury. It indeed was an unquenchable ferocity which could be quenched only by the act of killing.
If an young boy could develop such a high level enmity, there must have been something extraordinarily wrong between him and his teacher.
Was there something abnormal with this teacher – Uma Maheshwari?
She had pulled him up for poor performance in two subjects and had recorded her decision in the student’s report card. Did she chide him in front of the class? Did she use condemnatory strong words? We don’t know. She could have. The boy’s pride and self respect had been obviously hurt and he decided on the most dangerous course of action.
I am of the view that the blame largely lies with the teachers of present time. To go back on the time scale:
It was around the year 1949-50, I think. My nephew, (he is a grandfather now) one evening was having an argument with his father over a certain point in his text book of Standard IV. Probably he sought some clarification and his father gave it and had said ”I think my answer is correct.” Disagreeing with his father, the youngster said, “No Appa, you are wrong. My teacher said it differently. I believe my teacher.”
I do not remember the exact crux of the argument but that is the kind of reverence and respect and blind faith a school boy had for his teachers in that era. “A teacher was All in All.”
How did the teachers of some 60 years back earn such a reputation among his pupils? Was it their superior knowledge or affection, concern and commitment they had for their students? Probably all.
What are the assets of the teachers of today? Do they really love their students? Do they actually have the students’ well being and future in their heart; and win over their confidence through love and dedication? Are they committed educators? Do they really command the respect of their students?
I am afraid, in my opinion, they lack all these qualities. They teach in order to earn, that’s all.
Is something lacking or improper in their training? In the teachers training colleges? It will be good to have a second look at their syllabus. Teachers also need to overhaul their attitude towards their students who should be considered and treated as their own sons and daughters.