“We never stop learning — one must always be socially relevant, physically active and mentally engaged.”
Instead of settling for a cushy post-retirement posting, former Assam Director General of Police (DGP) Mukesh Sahay has decided to use his years of experience as a police trainer to teach mathematics to students at the Sonaram Higher Secondary School in Guwahati’s Bharalumukh area.
A 34-year veteran of the police force, Sahay held the office of Assam DGP until April 30, 2018, and retired from service the following day. Today, he is a full-time mathematics teacher for class IX and XI students.
“At a school function two years ago, where I was invited as the guest of honour, the principal had told me that they did not have a regular mathematics teacher. Although I considered it (taking up the position of a teacher) the following year, it was impossible to dedicate six days a week to it because of my job,” said Sahay, speaking to The Better India.
For almost two years, school principal Dwinjendra Nath Borthakur, who is originally a chemistry teacher, would take a few mathematics classes and was helped by the statistics teacher. Last August, Sahay reached out and asked Borthakur to send textbooks. So, the former top cop was already preparing to be teacher.
“Following retirement, I reached out to the school principal once again and found out that the position was still vacant. On May 7, my journey as a schoolteacher began. It’s still too early to say anything; we will see how it goes,” says Sahay.
Although Sahay has never worked as a formal school teacher, he believes that his former role as a certified police trainer is helping him make that transition.
“Training policemen is also a form of educating and requires strong communication skills. The attempt is to impart a student-centric learning process, instead of most schools where learning in teacher-centric,” says Sahay.
Moreover, after high school in the early 1970s, Sahay had briefly worked as a part-time math tutor to augment his income, since he came from an economically poor family in Bihar.
Today, he conducts one-hour classes on Calculus every day of the week. “The new Class XI batch will join a couple of months later, and perhaps I will begin to teach two lessons when they do,” he tells The Indian Express (TIE), adding that the school has recently hired a new maths teacher.
“I am quite proficient in Calculus, so it has not been too difficult, but I definitely need to do my homework every day,” he tells TIE. “We never stop learning — one must always be socially relevant, physically active and mentally engaged.”
What motivates him to teach school children after 34 years of police service?
“I do this for my own pleasure. This also becomes another way for me to pay back society in whatever way I can,” Sahay tells The Better India.
For students from one of Assam’s most prestigious school, which opened in 1894, having someone of Sahay’s stature as a schoolteacher has brought pride and joy. “He carries on teaching like a regular person — and that is what the students like about him the most,” Principal Borthakur, tells TIE.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)