William Arthur Ward once said, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” There are a lot of teachers out there. But what exactly makes a teacher a great teacher?


A great teacher imbues in students not only good study habits but also good morals. A student always remembers and cherishes a great teacher. Many of us have had that one teacher who impacted and inspired us more than others. They bring out the best in every student. Students also look forward to attend their classes.


There are many capable teachers but great teachers are rare. Great teachers are consistently on a roll. Their role in not restrictive to the number of hours they teach. They spend a lot of time after school to prepare for each day. They often bring in new ideas and innovative teaching methods into the classroom and teach lessons with enthusiasm. A great teacher has incredible knowledge and enthusiasm for the subject they are teaching. They are open to a student’s doubts and can turn even the most boring lectures into interesting ones. A great teacher recognizes each day at school, each school year and every student is different. With this view they constantly change things to tap individual strengths and weakness within a classroom. Even a teacher can make mistakes, but the greatness of a teacher lies in learning from those mistakes. For them teaching is not about earning money, they teach because they love to.


Great teachers are in sense a complete package. Whether it’s grabbing opportunities, learning from mistakes, making learning fun, evolving over time, implementing new curricula, communicating students classroom behavior to their parents, inspiring students or counselling and mentoring the students when necessary, a great teacher does all of it with ease.




It is essential to put some light on the historical background of education in order to have a better understanding of the present and the future.

The Ancient education system in India can be broadly divided into 5 eras.

1.Vedic period : In Vedic era, education occupied an important place in the society. Acquiring education brought prosperity for the people in different fields. Education brought discipline and culture into the lives of people and this is what distinguished man from beasts. Education was considered as a means to help people attain salvation. It helped people realize the supreme truth that during this period education was regarded as true and through education only a man can get rid from the debt of the Guru. In other words, education was given utmost importance in this era.


2.Buddhist education system : The Indian society was divided into four social caste of whom the Brahmans were the superior. They enjoyed the right to education and other superior amenities by the virtue of being born into a Brahman family. Whereas people from other castes were denied religious and educational rights. It was in this background that a religious revolution started in India and a new doctrine was developed called the Buddhist Doctrine. Buddhism played a crucial role in the development of education system in India. The main objective of Buddhist doctrine was to attain wisdom. Under Buddhism colleges were opened for people from all castes. Entry to these educational institutions was not just restricted to the Brahmans. Buddhist education helped attract students from distant countries and helped in the development of Hindu logic and philosophy.


3.Islamic System : According to Islam every human activity starts with education. Islam places a lot of importance on the process of teaching and learning knowledge. Education is essential for one’s development. Islam also states that all the factors which are necessary for acquiring knowledge are provided by God. One of these factors is ‘freedom of research’.


Education under East India Company

The East India Company was interested in educating the Indians from the outset of the company’s rule in Bengal. In the last two decades of 18th century and 19th century, the company’s officials pursued a series of policies to establish their dominance. Most of the policies were in relation to the education policy. The three goals of the policy were:

i)                    To sponsor Indians in their own culture

ii)                    to advance knowledge of India

iii)                  to employ that knowledge in government

The first goal was supported by administers.  Vernacular learning also benefited it. In 1781,  Madras ‘Aliya, and institution in Calcutta was founded for the study of Arabic and Persian languages and Islamic Law.

The second goal was motivated by the concerns that the company officials were seen as foreign rulers. So if the company wanted to maintain its dominance and win the trust of its subjects it had to outdo the regions previous rulers and do something better in the indigenous system of education. As a result, in 1971, the Benares Sanskrit College was founded in Varanasi.

The company officials believed that they would make better administrators if they are well versed with the language and culture of India, and that is how the third goal grew. It led to the establishment of  College of Fort William, in Calcutta in 1880. The college played an important role in the development of modern Indian languages and the Bengal renaissance.


English was increasingly used as a medium of instruction. Therefore Persian was abolished as the official language of the East India Company. Bilingual Education Institutions were established, such as the Poona Sanskrit College taught both Sanskrit and English.  Sir Robert Grant, was appointed Governor of the Bombay Presidency in 1834, played an essential role in the establishment of the first medical college, which was named Grant Medical College when it was established in 1854. During 1852-53, citizens of Bombay appealed the British officials to establish and fund University education in India. This resulted in Education dispatch of July 1854. The state-sponsored education for India as outlined by dispatch:
i) Establishing a Department of Public Instruction in each presidency or province of British India.

ii) Establishing universities modeled on the University of London, in each of the Presidency towns (i.e.Madras, Bombay, and Calcutta)

iii)Establishing teachers-training schools for all levels of instruction

iv)Maintaining existing Government colleges and high-schools and increasing their number when necessary.

v)Increasing vernacular schools for elementary education

vi)Introducing a system of grants-in-aid for private schools


1855                       :     Department for Public Instruction

January, 1857       :    University of Calcutta was established

June, 1857             :    University of Bombay was established

September, 1857 :    University of Madras was established

Elphinstone institution,Grant medical College, and Poona Sanskrit College, were affiliated to University of Bombay.

High-schools in different provinces and presidencies were founded by the Company.