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Why India & Rest of the World Celebrate Teachers' Day on Different Dates? Learn in #ClassesWithNews18

By: Sukanya Nandy


Last Updated: September 05, 2022, 11:02 IST

New Delhi, India

Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was appointed as the first vice president of India in 1952 (File Photo)

Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was appointed as the first vice president of India in 1952 (File Photo)

Teacher's Day: Do you know why the day observed? The connection of this day goes back to the first vice-president of independent India. Let us learn today in #ClasseswithNews18 the history and significance of this day

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On September 5, students across the country observe Teacher’s Day to pay tribute to their teachers. This is a month ahead of the world. International teachers’ day falls on October 5. UNESCO proclaimed 5 October to be World Teachers’ Day to commemorate recommendations concerning the status of teachers in cooperation with the International Labour Organisation.

Then why is Indian teachers’ day celebrated differently? The connection of this day goes back to the first vice-president of independent India. Let us learn today in #ClasseswithNews18 the history and significance of this day.

What is the connection between Teacher’s Day & Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

India’s Teacher’s Day marks the birthday of the former vice-president, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. A renowned scholar, philosopher, and the recipient of Bharat Ratna, Dr Radhakrishnan is independent India’s first vice- president, and second president (1962). Born on September 5, 1888.

Radhakrishnan served as a professor at various colleges and universities, including Chennai’s Presidency College and Calcutta University. As his teaching career progressed, he went on to serve as vice-chancellor of Andhra Pradesh University, Delhi University, and Banaras Hindu University. In April 1909, Radhakrishnan was appointed to the department of philosophy at the Madras Presidency College. In 1918, he joined Maharaja’s College, Mysore.

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He had also received a proposal from Oxford University in 1936 to teach Eastern Religions and Ethics. Radhakrishnan accepted the proposal and taught there for several years, before taking a plunge into politics. In 1939, he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy.

The end product of education should be a free creative man, who can battle against historical circumstances and adversities of nature — Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Besides teaching, he represented India at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) from 1946 to 1952. He was also appointed India’s Ambassador to the Soviet Union, where he served from 1949 to 1952.

He was appointed as the first vice president of India in 1952. After 10 years in office, he went on to become the second president of India in 1962.

In 1962, after he took over as the then President Rajendra Prasad, his students approached him, requesting him to allow them to celebrate his birthday. Instead of allowing them to do so, he asked them to observe it as Teachers’ Day. “Instead of observing my birthday discretely, it would be my pompous privilege if 5th September is observed as Teachers’ Day," he replied to his students.

Since then, Teachers’ Day has been marked every year on his birth anniversary in the honour of all the teachers and professors. Radhakrishnan was honoured with Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 1954. Further, he was nominated 27 times for the Nobel Prize.

Sarvepalli studied at Voorhees College in Vellore and later took admission to Madras Christian College at the age of 17 years. In 1906, he completed his master’s degree in Philosophy. He then started his career as a professor.

Did you know he was knighted in 1931, and since then he was addressed as Sir Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. But that was before India became independent. After independence in 1947, he came to be known as Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. In 1936, he was named as Spalding Professor of Eastern Religions and Ethics at Oxford University and was elected as a Fellow of the All Souls College.

A life of joy and happiness is possible only on the basis of knowledge and science — Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Among the top books written by Dr Radhakrishnan include A Source Book in Indian Philosophy, The World Treasury of Modern Religious Thought, The Hindu View of Life, Eastern Religions, The Philosophy of Rabindranath Tagore, and Western Thought, Faith Renewed, among others. He died at the age of 86 on April 17, 1975.

While globally, Teachers Day is celebrated on October 5, in India, we celebrate it on September 5 from 1962 onwards. World teachers day marks the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 recommendations regarding status, teaching practices, and rights of teachers. UNESCO introduced World Teachers’ Day in 1994 to draw attention to teachers’ contributions and achievements, as well as to teachers’ concerns and objectives in education.

The date of October 5 was chosen as the international day to honour teachers since it was on that date in 1966 that a special intergovernmental meeting accepted the UNESCO Recommendation on the Status of Teachers.

The 1966 ILO/UNESCO recommendation concerning the status of teachers, which sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers, and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions. World Teachers’ Day is co-convened in partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO), UNICEF and Education International (EI). The theme of World Teacher’s Day last year was, ‘Teachers at the Heart of Education Recovery’ recognising teachers for their efforts to continue teaching even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn about other topics taught in school, explained by News18, here is a list of other Classes With News18: Queries Related to Chapters on Elections | Sex Versus Gender | Cryptocurrencies | Economy & Banks | How to Become President of India | Post Independence Struggle | How India Adopted Its Flag | Formation of States & United India | Tipu Sultan | Indian Teachers Day Different from Rest of the World |

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first published:September 05, 2022, 09:09 IST
last updated:September 05, 2022, 11:02 IST