By Shah Azam Khan
The Salam Teacher day is celebrated in many countries of the world including Pakistan. This year in some circles in Gilgit Baltistan the actual date of this celebration was changed due to the holy Eid –Ul- Baqar and thus in Gilgit proper the government education department celebrated it on October 23 2014. Anyways, whatever the date is, that does not make a difference and what makes a difference is a sincere homage and tribute to the national architects…… the teachers in its’ full spirit. This day reminds us the magnificent and superb services of the teachers in national building and the realization of their high momentous services make us extend our warmest gratitude to them.
SALUTE TO YOU O MY TEACHERS
Teachers have a crucial role in developing the lives of the individuals, societies and nations. They are the source of knowledge, wisdom, manners, morals, inspirations, enlightenment and spiritual upliftment for human beings and thus are the major pillars of a sound, progressive and competitive nation and society. The ever progressing and changing shape of the entire society in its holistic term solely depicts the intellectual strength of the teachers. Like architectures they visualize the future of the youth, plan accordingly and lead the learners by equipping them with a futuristic approach which enables the learners to become transformative leaders and embark on creations and innovations in all aspects of life and as we all know that owing to this the present development of the world community has been possible. Therefore, this group of human beings (teachers) due to its blessed services, is given a divine title i.e. “Creator” …. the one who transforms human beings by tapping their hidden innate potentials and thus enables them create new wealth of knowledge, address the grievances of the creatures in varied forms and bring comfort and prosperity to families and nations. Being thrilled by the eternity of the teachers’ services, Saint Kabir expresses his views with emotional and rational attachment. He says,
Teachers and God both are standing before me
Whom should I pay obeisance?
I bow to you my teacher
Who guided me to God
The world’s noblest personality, the teacher, the maker of the history, the designer of the future course of a nation has a long lasting contribution to the entire world. Every country has two types of assets i.e. material asset and human assets. The comparison of both of the assets reveal that human resource avails a distinct position over the material resources. It is because , the material resource is the creation of intellectual and skillful man kind. Now the human being can not be well developed, purified, sophisticated, enabled and intellectually glorified with out educational institutions. The educational institutions despite being well equipped with all the material resources still remain useless without qualified teachers. Thus the youth and grown up population which is crucial and crystal in the national development related mandate from governance to employment, are in the hands of the teachers in their overall formation starting from ECD level to Higher Education. This includes their habit formation, learning basic and advanced level life skills, literacy and numeracy, problem solving skills, creativity and innovations, mastery and specialization in relevant fields and most importantly to shape their attitude towards thinking and contributing beyond their personal gain or fame for the well being of the man kind. From a holistic perspective the dignified role and sensitive services of the teachers make them “crowned leaders”. A teacher has invisible crown on his/her head and is the ruler of the hearts of his followers and the nation. It is because, the future of any nation lies in the hands of its youth whereas, the future of the youth lies in the hands of the teachers.
As an education leader, I have always been filled with warms and respect for the teachers. I sing song in their praise and for that I love the words of Henry Van Dyke. The word of Dyke are heart touching and I share these words as my warms and praise in the honor of the teachers.
I sing praise of the unknown teacher. Great generals win campaign, but it is the unknown soldier who wins the war. Famous educators plans new system of pedagogy, but it is the unknown teacher who directs and guides the young. He lives in obscurity and contends with hardship. For him no trumpets blare, no chariots wait, no golden decorations are decreed. He keeps the watch along the borders of darkness and makes the attack on the trenches of ignorance and folly. Patient is his daily work, he strives to conquer the evil powers which are the enemies of youth. He awakens sleeping spirits. He quickens the indolent, encourages the eager and steadies the unstable. He communicates his own joy in learning and shares with boys and girls the best treasure of his mind. He lights many candles, which in latter years will shine back to cheer him. This is his reward. Knowledge may be gained from books, but the love for knowledge is transmitted only by personal contact. No one has even deserved better of republic than the unknown teacher. No one is more worthy to be enrolled in a democratic aristocracy. ………. king of himself and servant of man kind.
Thus I feel that if any body has a strong respect for his./her country, society and human being, then what could be the best way of serving than becoming a teacher. Usually the profession of teaching has been considered a normal and easy going one. I feel that this mindset and attitude has spoiled us as a nation. Consequently, star minds could not get attracted to teaching and thus opted for other jobs/professions. Nevertheless, now the world community has realized this “blunder” when some of the nations excelled in the race of development due to quality schools and quality teachers. The world community particularly, the developing countries now seem to have realized that this is the quality teacher and school that produce required manpower to every walk of life for extraordinary development. Therefore, the tendency of encouraging and respecting teacher community seems on move and the SALAM TEACHER day is one of its exhibitions.
This day is a day of paying homage to our teachers, nonetheless, it is a day of reflection also for the teacher loving community, for the teachers themselves, for the policy makers and for the learners. The community must optimize and materialize the fact that being a trustee of national development the teachers deserve the highest degree of respect and appreciation in all circles of our society. This respect and attribute can be materialized in a in variety of ways such as, by extending desirable respect and warm in our day to day contacts, cooperation and coordination by strengthening home school partnership in order to maximize the teachers efforts for the academic up-liftmen of the learners and this partnership itself is a credit and importance attached to the teachers and their significant services. Community and parents must ensure giving distinct status and protocol to the teachers in all social circles which may gradually develop a strong social culture of honorable and decorous attitude for the teachers.
The policy makers must review their approach towards facilitating and valuing the services of the national builders. This includes, monetary incentives, opportunities for on going academic and professional development, increased authority and certain legal protocols for the teachers. It is amazing that policy makers, senior authorities and community all are well sensitive to the unavoidable need of quality teaching and learning and for the overall human capital development but they want to gain it at the cost of the poor and lower status of the developers, teachers. It is the need of the time that legislation should be made with regard to the teachers’ protocol in social and legal circles. We bow to a judge who is in that position due to the poor teacher’s services, and this respect is desirable, but at the same time we do not hesitate insulting a teacher over trifle matters and this is a reality. Most shockingly, such appalling attitude towards the teachers are considered as routine behavior which shows the legal, social and moral impassiveness of our nation. We salute to a minor police officer but hardly smile to a teacher when come across. But both the policy officer and the judge look at and depend on the teacher for the development of their valuable assets …… their children. Is n’t it ridiculous? The one day offering of Salam to the teachers is insufficient unless this Salam becomes the fabric of our institutional culture and national behavior.
The honorable teachers while accepting our warmest and warmest SAMALM, also need to reflect on the significance of their noble job with reference to the changing world scenario. They need to realize that their dignity is far above both from the appreciation and criticisms of the beneficiaries. They are having a moral business which gets satisfaction on the accomplishment of human capital development in its different phases and grades. And that they are the major source of the happiness, development and prosperity of million of families and thus are in their hearts and prayers which itself is the real reward. At the same time, we, the teachers need to reflect on the changing circumstances and conditions related to our profession. We need to realize that the “Ornamental” concept of education has severely been replaced by the “Utilitarian” concept of education where, the usability and practicality of education is the pressing need of the time. We as teachers should not forget that the day of “Jug Mug” theory of learning has expired and the value of a child’s innate potential in daily instructional programme is now the essence of developing the learners as leaders, explorers investigators and knowledge generators rather than passive recipients. Ours is an era of rapid changes which demands from the teachers to be highly knowledgeable and updated with the latest research based knowledge and pedagogy in order to ensure the quality of learning. Most importantly, the teachers must have a strong consideration towards the ethics of teaching and learning. In today’s pluralistic society where we are the inhabitants of a global village, therefore, the development of critical masses, well versed with highest academic excellence and highly desirable social, moral and behavioral qualities and attitudes such as honesty, integrity, warms for human beings, rigor, self discipline, fairness and positive competitive sense are unavoidable realities for our survival and development and they need to be instilled in our youth. This highly challenging but overwhelmingly rewarding service can be well accomplished only when our teachers will improve their pedagogy and bring innovative and inspiring instructional strategies and programmes to the classroom. And this requires rigor efforts on our teachers’ end. The curse of cramming and rote learning kills the very intellect, critical, analytical and problem solving skills of our youth with the consequent of freezing their minds and thinking and such condition can not enable our youth to lead and contribute to the pluralistic society. Thus the present era demands from the teachers to be progressive, inquirer, investigator and researcher in order to feel the pulses of the modern age orientation and lead the students accordingly.
To cut the long story short, the teacher is the chief of all and the blessed angel for our national development and thus highly deserves the respect of all and that the honorable teachers need more rigor efforts than before in order to meet the academic requirements of the present age learners. We believe that our honorable teachers will maximize and increase the treasure of their professional wealth and enable the youth to play extraordinary role in the national development. We are proud of our teachers and from the depth of our heart extend SALAM to them.
Love you O my teachers.