Teachers' Day 2020: Importance, Significance, And History Of Teachers' Day

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Teachers’ Day celebrates the unique role that adults play in the lives of young minds and help shape the future of a country.

In India, Teachers’ Day is celebrated annually on September 5 to mark the birthday of the country’s former President, scholar, philosopher and Bharat Ratna awardee, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who was born on this day in 1888.

The significance of this day is ever-evolving, including taking lessons from life and making your experiences the teachers you needed to shape you into who you become. For school students, the day also means getting roses, chocolates, gifts including handmade cards to profess their affection for their favourite teachers. For senior students, Teacher’s day is one of role reversal and celebration.

Who was Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan

World Teachers’ Day is celebrated on October 5, but every country celebrates the day on different dates. In India, September 5 is marked as Teachers’ Day as it’s the birthday of a highly-respected teacher, philosopher and prolific statesman, Dr Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan. Dr Radhakrishnan said that “teachers should be the best minds in the country.”

Dr Radhakrishnan was the first Vice President of India (1952–1962) and went on to become the second President of India (1962-1967). He was born in the erstwhile Madras Presidency near the Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu border. Being a bright student, he completed his education by winning scholarships, despite lack of finances. After completing his MA in Philosophy in 1908, Dr Radhakrishnan taught the subject at Madras Presidency College.

He then held the post of Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University from 1931 to 1936, followed by Vice-Chancellor of Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in 1939, succeeding Madan Mohan Malviya.

He was knighted in 1931, and was awarded the Bharat Ratna -- the highest civilian award in India in 1954. He was made an honorary member of the British Royal Order of Merit in 1963.


The story behind Teachers’ Day goes that when Dr Radhakrishan took the office of the second President of India in 1962, his students approached him to seek permission to celebrate September 5 as a special day. Dr Radhakrishnan instead made a request of them to observe September 5 as Teachers’ Day, to recognise the contribution of teachers to the society.

Teacher’s Day is celebrated across schools, colleges, universities and educational institutions. Students put on performances, dances, and host elaborate shows for their most-loved teachers.

This year, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, and schools being shut, the celebrations will be given a miss. However, virtual wishes and greetings are a perfect way to tell your teachers you remember them now and always will.

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