New Delhi, Sept 5: On the eve of Teachers' Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said teaching is not a profession but "jeevan dharm" (a way of life) and asked teachers to understand changes happening across the world to prepare the new generation accordingly.
"Teaching is not just another profession. It is a divine responsibility to guide and enlighten," Modi said in his message of greetings.
Modi said that India should regain the status of 'vishwaguru' (leader in education) by according high respect to teachers whom he asked to encourage students to think critically about issues concerning nation. In an email message to teachers, he told them that their determination and sincerity will shape the destiny of the nation as they are laying the foundation and the building blocks of the society.
Interacting with the 350 national awardee teachers, who will be felicitated by President Pranab Mukherjee on Teachers' Day, Modi said a teacher never retires and always endeavours to teach the new generation, according to an official statement.
"If a society is to progress, teachers must always be two steps ahead of time. They need to understand changes happening across the world and prepare the new generation accordingly by arousing curiosity in them," he told them.
Modi said two of his wishes after he became the Gujarat Chief Minister were to meet his childhood friends and honour his teachers. "I fulfilled both of them ... The role of a teacher is very important in any student's life," he said.
Speaking in a lighter vein, Modi said he is sure the teachers, who will be honoured by the President, would not be affected by "Delhi's airs". "I am sure it would not happen," said Modi, who has in past referred to himself as an outsider in the capital.
The teachers also participated in the informal interaction, the statement said, and expressed their views on various aspects of teaching. Modi will be interacting with students tomorrow afternoon and schools across the country have been asked to "assemble" students to watch the event which will be streamed live.
Inputs from PTI