59th Teachers’ Day Celebration
September 5, 2020 @ 2:30 am – 11:30 am
The birthday of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (5 September) is celebrated as Teachers’ Day in India since 1962.
5 October is celebrated annually as World Teachers’ Day, also known as International Teachers Day since 1994.
Traditionally in India Guru Purnima is celebrated to honour and pay respect to Gurus and Teachers
Why do we celebrate Teachers’ Day?
Teachers’ Day is a day dedicated in honour of teachers and is celebrated every year around the world to acknowledge and recognize the significance of teachers in lives of students; the future of citizens of a nation. Hence, teachers being one of the most important parts of society, moulding young and thus the future of the country are honoured and appreciated on Teachers’ Day. In India it is observed on September 5, the birth anniversary of 2nd President of India and 1st Vice-President of India, Bharat Ratna Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. However, dates vary in countries as per their history and local significance with World Teachers’ Day being celebrated on October 5 in many countries.
Who was Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan?
In India, Teachers’ Day has been celebrated since 1962 on September 5, birth anniversary of Dr Radhakrishnan, 2nd President of India. Dr Radhakrishnan was born on September 5, 1888, in a Telugu family in a village near Thiruttani of erstwhile Madras Presidency, British India. He studied Philosophy in University of Madras and remained one of the finest Philosophers and scholars of Modern India, presenting a critical and comprehensive analysis of Vedanta branch of Hindu Philosophy.
He assumed the office of Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University from 1931-36 and Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University from 1939-48, meanwhile publishing various critical assessment on Hindu religion and Philosophy, writing books; “The Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore” and “The Reign of Religion in Contemporary Philosophy” and teaching in various universities across the country. In 1937, he was also nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature and subsequently nominated fourteen times more. He was also nominated for Nobel Peace prize eleven times.
After the independence of India, Dr Radhakrishnan served as the first Vice-President from 1952-57 and for the 2nd term from 1957-62. He then succeeded Dr Rajendra Prasad as the second President of India in 1962 till 1967. For his contributions and accomplishments, he was awarded India’s highest civilian honour Bharat Ratna in 1954. Dr Radhakrishnan took his last breath at the age of 86 on April 17, 1975, in Madras, Tamil Nadu.
Although, not a holiday, schools and colleges instead of conducting regular classes, dedicate the day for celebrating the contribution of teachers and their significance in society. Students organize various events as an expression of their love, respect and gratitude for teachers. In schools, students give flowers and greeting cards to teachers, touch their feet for blessings and participate in skits and plays depicting the importance of the teacher-student relationship and significance of teachers in general. Speeches are also made by students and teachers on the day. In present times, students send messages to their teachers and write wishes on various social media platforms.
Teachers’ Day in other countries
Teachers’ Day is celebrated in almost all countries of the world, but dates vary with local significance. Generally, it is celebrated on the day commemorating in honour of individuals who have made great contributions in their respective countries in the field of education and knowledge. China celebrates it on September 10, the United Kingdom on May 9; the United States of America celebrates National Teacher Day on the Tuesday of the first week of the May. Many countries celebrate Teachers’ Day on October 5. In 1994, October 5 was adopted as World Teachers’ Day or International Teachers Day.