Parents are the best teachers. Do you agree or disagree?
It is simple to find out how important parents are for children. A visit to an orphanage is proof. Thechildren wear a lost look, approach any visitor with eagerness, and desperately want to be loved.Foster parents brought up the famous Marlyn Monroe because her own mother had to be admittedin a mental home. Her father never gave her his name. This total lack of parental guidance madehers a life of humiliation, insult and torture throughout her childhood and adolescence. Even whenshe was a top star in Hollywood, memories of a disturbed childhood continued to haunt her. Shehad a string of failed marriages. But she finally committed suicide by taking an overdose of sleepingpills. She was 38 when she died. Her real name was Norma Jean Baker but she did not like tomention it.On the other hand, we have the example of Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, whose early upbringingunder the able guidance of his mother Amita Sen, father, Dr. Ashutosh Sen and maternalgrandfather Kshitimohan Sen made it possible for him to win, among many international awardsand recognition, the Nobel Prize for Economics. “His father motivated him with the greatest of human values like honesty in life, integrity of character and the determination to stick to his roots.This makes him come back to Shanti Niketan to see me and to ride around the town in a bicyclelike he used to do in his youth. Fame and fortune have not changed him at all, ” informs AmartyaSen’s mother Amita Sen, who is still alive. Interestingly, when Amartya Sen was only two years old,his parents left for London leaving him along with his sister Supoorna under the care of hismaternal grandparents at Shanti Niketan. The natural surroundings of the small town and institutionset up by Tagore, the lessons he learnt from his grandparents, and later, from his parents, shaped Amartya into the man he has today become. He looked upon his grandfather as his greatest idol inlife. “Nature too, has had a deep impact on his upbringing,” says Sen’s mother.Indian cricket captain Saurav Ganguly’s parents Chandi and Nirupa could have easily allowed their two sons to turn into spoilt brats of a stinking rich family. But they did not. Nirupa has beeninstrumental in correcting her younger son Saurav when he used every prank in the book to avoidhis teacher and his studies. The father instilled in the boys the love for sports because this is onefamily “that is crazy about sports – be it cricket or football,” says Saurav’s mother. Instead of buyinghis sons luxury cars and memberships to elite clubs, their father invested in a gym right at home “sothat I could supervise them as they worked out,” he reminisces. Today, the Ganguly couple hasevery right to be proud of their son’s international achievements.Teachers cannot take the place of parents in a child’s life because:(a) Teachers are permitted to teach given subjects from a given syllabus within a classroomsituation.(b) They are bound to the prescribed rules and regulations of the school, college or university.(c) Teachers remain with the children for around eight hours for five or six days in a week. So, timeand space limit their interaction with students.(d) Since teachers rarely meet the students they teach beyond the school premises, their understanding of the nature and mindset of the children they teach is limited to school hours andschool discipline. They have almost no way of knowing how these children behave at home, or,with their neighbours, etc.(e) Teachers generally teach an entire class of children where one-to-one communication is absent.So, they find it difficult to tackle individual problems of a child from a large group.(f) Teachers are mainly concerned with the teaching of academic subjects and have no time toinstruct children on the more important aspects of life such as values, principles etc, except in anindirect manner.Parents teach less by telling children what they should or should not do, and more by example. Afather who wakes up late, will never be able to teach his children to wake up early. A mother wholies all the time, cannot expect her children to be honest in their speech. Parents, who aredisordered and indisciplined, will not realise the importance of teaching their children to be orderlyand disciplined. Value education is the education we receive from our parents. Academic education