Students and teachers are becoming sensuality driven and the nature of their relationship is undergoing a sea change. Students are becoming glamour-struck and sensuality-driven by the day. Teachers are not far behind. They are getting younger and stylish and believe it or not, equally sensuality-driven! The very closeness of the relationship challenges that necessary distance. Feelings of admiration and respect may become intense and personal.
Thus, nowadays, dramatic changes have taken place in this tradition as well as in the nature of the relationship between the teacher and the taught. Gone are the days of respected `gurus` whose hand always rose in a blessing for his/her `shishyas`! However, those days seem to have vanished in the mist of the past. The sacred guru-shishya relationship is under the microscope with both parties giving it a brand new dimension!
Education is no longer a mission. It is an industry like any other. Most parents say that teaching has become a business; that teachers are engaged to give tuition`s on the basis of a guarantee of how many marks the student will obtain in a board examination. Teachers, according to urban parents, are entirely mercenary and are rarely involved in the overall growth or progress of their students.
Students, on their part, are hassled just like their parents, in reaching the percentage, which will ensure their entry into a college or career of their choice. This desperation on the part of students and parents has given rise to such greed among teachers and their touts, that in recent years, there have been innumerable scandals of papers being leaked, entrance tests being tampered with, false answer papers being presented and prestigious examinations being re-ordered.
This is not all - the teacher-student relationship has taken yet another turn in recent weeks. "In the past, students were required to respect their teachers as much as their parents. In fact, the guru was equated with divinity and students venerated their gurus and touched their feet to seek blessings," say disgusted parents, "Where is this new idea going to take our young students?"
Long ago, there were many undisclosed scandals of music and dance gurus seducing their young girl shishyas by enticing them in secret. This is why respectable families turned away from great arts like classical music and dance. Indeed, these arts saw dire days because of those tactics of many artists towards their young, innocent wards. After Independence, dance and music became more institutionalized and great teachers became iconic gurus.
Sex and sensuality or `hot bod` seduction tactics have no place in education. As it is, our young people are bombarded with sex at every turn of their lives. If the teacher-student relationship gets caught in the vortex of sex and seduction, we will really be a poor nation! When those feelings do occur, they cannot experience them comfortably and cannot maintain appropriate student-teacher boundaries also.
Passionate relationships that might be appropriate in other circumstances are always wrong when they occur between any teacher and any student for whom he or she has a professional responsibility. Other amorous relationships between members of the faculty and students, occurring outside the instructional context, may also lead to difficulties. Students who have become sexually involved with their teachers have been known to modify or abandon their educational programs out of a sense of confusion and embarrassment. Finally, one must consider the potential of personal harm to the student, especially if there is a history of poor self-esteem, dependency, or victimization.
Counselors say that attraction for a teacher is common and normal among students - male or female. "We should deal with this subject with patience and concern," they say, "Encouraging such feelings is destructive to the student`s progress. Crushes on teachers should not be `sexualized` or given a sense of physicality. This would be disastrous! Young collegians are often misled into believing that sex is trendy!
It is projected as the answer to all their problems. Students must be told the consequences of getting into such relationships. Before `seduction` currents become common, educators in our society must sit up and take serious note of the consequences of these `trends` and stop them before irreparable damage is done to our educational institutions."