By Hina Bashir.
Today I was attending a “world teacher’s day” seminar. There were a lot of students and teachers and the purpose of this gathering was to celebrate teacher’s day. One thing which I noticed was that our teachers are not aware of their purpose of teaching, nor are students aware of the purpose of their education. Why do I wake up every morning to go to teach? For my salary? Why do I go to the university? Why are my parents paying my fee? Just so I can have a job in this society? Is that what the soul of education been reduced to? Both student and teacher have one thing in common, to get material benefit. Teachers use this profession to become financially strong and students get an education to become economically independent.
During the seminar, I was listening to the speakers, but my mind was wondering about why we need to celebrate teacher’s day? Why has UNESCO proclaimed 5th October to be a world teacher’s day in 1994? Why do we need a day to give respect to our teachers and give them the honor they deserved to be treated with?
When I see the history there was not a specific teacher’s day. There was not a particular day to give respect to teachers. Nowadays we are limiting teachers respect to only one day. Teachers are losing respect which they had in the past.
It is the notion that, “students are the reflection of teachers”, do you think that it is true?
I think, its true because now our teachers are raising a breed of students who are running after economic benefits. Students are only getting education without knowing the true purpose of education. Now, our whole educational system is based on “man’s need”, and man’s need lead to self-contentedness. When teachers are taking teaching only as a profession than do you think that student will not take education as a source of economic benefit? When teachers are not aware of their purpose of teaching, than how could they tell the student the true purpose of education?
This year theme of teacher’s day is “valuing teachers, improving their status”. Teachers always complain that students do not respect teachers, I think the main reason of this is that, nowadays teachers don’t teach their students with sincerity and complete devotion, they just deliver their lecture and are least interested in knowing, if their lecture was beneficial for the students, whether, the students understood it or not, and I believe this is one big reason why students no longer give respect to teachers the way they deserve it.
According to my observation another reason for a teacher’s insignificance in the present educational system is the lack of respect for teachers in our upbringing environment. I have seen a lot of parents, who disrespect the teachers in front of children for a trivial issue. Parents advise children, do not listen to teacher because we feed them with fees, these cases are common in private institutions. It’s because teachers are selling their knowledge and parents make sure that their children know that the teachers are getting paid because of their fees.
These are the few reasons that teachers are losing their respect and honor in the society. Instead of feeling proud of our eastern educational system which has prevailed during last centuries and instead of taking education as a source of spiritual maturity we are adopting western educational system which is based on material benefits. I think it is our national responsibility to understand the purpose of education. Because when we try to separate a thing from its origin than it loses its originality, same the case is with our educational system, we have forgotten the true purpose of education that’s why we are losing the true importance of education and knowledge.
In the end I would like to share one incident about the life of Alexander, the great, who had conquered more than half of the world. One day he and his teacher Aristotle were travelling together. During the travel they saw a stream. Aristotle said to Alexander that I will go and watch the stream, if it is not dangerous than you should cross it because you still have to conquer the world and to achieve the purpose of your life. But, Alexander stopped him and said that your life is more important than mine because if there will be Aristotle than the world will see a lot of Alexanders.
Writer is an English literature student and hails from Islamabad.