By Choice or By Chance

By Noman Wazir.

Teaching is an art. This statement resounds in my mind throughout my education career. However, when I enter into the profession, the perspective has been changed. Now I feel that teaching is not an art, but the connection of hearts.

Serving in the elite school has its own perks and privileges, accompanying a wide range of responsibilities. The students in elite schools are not the same as in the government schools. The difference is not in their capacities and abilities, but in their attire and environment.

Moreover, the checks and balances on teachers are sometimes irritating, but still they are yielding positive results. There are seminars, inspections and even annually two or three training courses with the renowned academician and researchers. The policy makers have recognized the fact that the teachers are the essence of result oriented education system.

The relationship of education system and a healthy society has been recognized by Plato almost 2500 years ago in his epic book ‘The Republic’. In his book, he has erected the entire infrastructure of society on the edifice of education system. Though his education system has negatives, yet his contribution to the idea of overhauling the society through education is worth appreciating.

In our society education is not considered to be a primary need. The menial budgetary allocation speaks volume of the fact. Henceforth, the teacher community is paid less. So, most of the brilliant minds are opting for civil services instead of teaching. And this prophetic profession is left on the mercy of the highly unqualified graduates of our society. Less than one per cent of our educated chunk is opting for teaching. Therefore, the people come to this profession by chance rather than by choice.

Teaching should be a connection of hearts. When a teacher is speaking from his heart, then it will reach to the hearts of his students. The question is why the teachers are not teaching from their hearts? The reasons are numerous; however, it still can be summed up in one sentence that they are not into that profession by choice.

Consequently, respect is generated through the medium of fear. They believe that there should be a gap between the students and the teacher. Unfortunately, this gap is maintained through intense scolding and even beating. Therefore, the teachers never communicate with their students through their hearts. On the contrary, a good teacher will try to get the love of his students and he will not be after the vague notion of respect.

The problem which I have faced throughout my education career has not overcome yet. The students are taught passive obedience in the guise of respect. There is a difference between passive obedience and respect. Passive obedience is an offshoot of fear, while the respect eventually comes out of love.

Students are like birds that are just learning to fly. They will make mistakes and even sometimes get confused in the process. The teacher should be a support in their endeavors instead of a retarding force.  The students should never feel that they are alone in the process. They should feel safe in the presence of a teacher rather fearing from the teacher.

Unfortunately, the students which undergoes through the process of passive obedience learn nothing but information. They are well literate, however not well educated. As we can observe that in our society, one cannot distinguish between the educated and the uneducated lot. Because the passive obedience which is being initiated at homes, is further perpetuated at schools. Consequently, the intolerance in society is not diminishing. The recent disappearances of rights activist in Pakistan is an indication that how our society is in the iron grip of intolerance.

Therefore, the teachers which are perpetuating the notion of passive obedience would create followers not leaders, hate-mongers not peace-makers, and foolish not intellectuals. Meanwhile, the society will crumble bit by bit under the education system which was supposed to renovate it.

The writer is a socio-political analyst from Fata. He can be reached at nomanwazir75@yahoo.com

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