“There is no other institution to replace it. Teaching assumes the most fundamental responsibility of shaping the society.” the Honourable Governor of Karnataka, His Excellency Sri Hansraj Bhardwaj said as he honoured 15 teachers who won “Teacher Awards for Excellence in Teaching”(TAFET), on 5 October 2013 at The Bangalore Palace. Gems B School, in collaboration with Times Foundation and The Teacher Foundation, organized the colourful ceremony to felicitate the teachers who won TAFET.
The ceremony was an occasion to reflect on school education in our country and to celebrate teaching as a profession that holds our society together. “Three societal elements make a difference – father, mother and teacher. India can do without doctors and engineers. It cannot do with the acute shortage of teachers it is facing at present. In a recent survey by McKinsey, it was found that only 9% of students are willing to become teachers!” said Dr. N Prabhu Dev, Former Vice Chancellor of Bangalore University, as he addressed the gathering.
Ms. Maya Menon, Founder Director of The Teacher Foundation shared her dream about Indian schools during the ceremony, paraphrasing “I have a dream…” speech of Dr. Martin Luther King. “I have a dream today! I have a dream that one day the best young men and women in our country, will seek to be teachers, not just for the status the profession offers, but for the satisfaction of nurturing India's human potential.” Ms. Maya Manon said, “For us at The Teacher Foundation, everyday is teachers’ day! While there are 450 million children under the age of 18, there are only eight million teachers to educate them. Through this recognition we want more teachers to come forward and take up this profession of moulding the future citizens of the country.”
Ms. Maya Menon also shared the process followed by The Teacher Foundation to identify the winners of TAFET. We received 140 nominations from different schools in Bangalore for TAFET. Teachers were put through three rigours rounds of selection. The winners were identified through a Paper Pencil Test, Group Discussion and Classroom Observation.
“Every government, both Central and State, should do an introspection. Are we building a society that is equal to other powerful societies in the world. I’m sorry, but I don’t see that happening. People know the importance of education in making this happen. It is up to you, up to the people and the leaders, where you want the country to be. If you want the country to improve, you need to participate in the service sector. In the service sector, we should focus on improving the education sector by strengthening it with good teachers” the honourable governor said as he concluded his speech, congratulating the winners.