India observes Teachers' Day on September 5 every year, the birthday of its second president Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. Picture for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Teachers rapping and students paying tributes to their mentors on social media were part of the virtual celebrations in the UAE on the occasion of Teachers’ Day, observed on September 5 in India.

In India, Teachers’ Day is marked in honour of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, a teacher with a middle-class background who went on to become the country’s second president. He was born on September 5, 1888, and India has marked its Teachers’ Day on September 5 every year since 1962.

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Most other countries celebrate World Teachers’ Day, instituted by Unesco in 1994, on October 5 every year.

In the UAE, students, teachers, schools and officials from India took to social media to mark the occasion as large gatherings have been restricted due to precautions against COVID-19.

Indians are the UAE’s biggest expatriate community, numbering more than 3 million. In Dubai alone, more than 79,000 students attend over 30 Indian schools.

A video tweeted by The Indian High School in Dubai showed teachers rapping, moonwalking, doing classical dance, playing music and showing their artworks. “We are the teachers of Indian High School. Yes, the kids are right — we are super cool,” the rap goes. The clip also features students wishing their teachers.

Meanwhile, alumni from GEMS Our Own English High School Sharjah — Boys, recalled their school days. Smith Khandewal, from the batch of 2016, said: “I’ve had some pretty amazing lessons that my teachers taught me, that have stayed with me both in and out of school. But they weren’t just teachers, they were also friends and mother and father figures. They were the guiding stars that guided my boat ...”

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Similar tributes were also paid by the 2019 batch of Sharjah Indian School and others.

The posts were retweeted by Indian missions in the UAE. “On #TeachersDay let us pay respect to #OurTeachersOurHeroes for their guidance, dedication and selfless service to the nation. Special thanks to #TeachersFromIndia for their tireless efforts during these tough times to continue virtual education to students,” the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi tweeted.