It takes two to get it right

02 Nov


t was the time of Abbasi Caliph Haroon-ul-Rasheed. Two youngsters were in conflict with each other, neither for the division property, nor over gold or silver; but surprisingly for carrying the shoes of their teacher and delivering it to him. The level of deference that they had for their teacher was such that both were willing to carry the shoes at any cost. Finally, the teacher resolved the matter and asked those youngsters, who also happened to be offsprings of the caliph of the time, to carry one shoe each.

The next day during a convention the caliph asked, “Who’s considered to be a highly regarded personality?” Everyone in the room predictably and unanimously replied, “The caliph”. Much to the surprise of everyone the caliph nodded his head and replied tenderly, “It’s the teacher, while carrying whose shoes, the sons of the caliph also feel proud.”

In the fast moving society of today, where most people have forgotten the precious lessons and values that religion and society impart, it is no surprise that most of them have lost respect and love for their teachers as well.

It is sad to state that today teachers are not regarded the way they actually are entitled to and incidences like the one mentioned earlier is now only a distant dream, one that is far from reality and is only confined to exemplary textbook essays.

However, one shouldn’t crib and cry over this. Infact we should be thankful that the young lot of today despite being disrespectful at least doesn’t discriminate. They disrespect and disregard both the teachers and parents alike. What a relief this must bring to the parents knowing that they are no less than the teachers when it comes to being disregarded!

Professor Shahzad Rafique, a lecturer at a private college of Lahore solemnly stated, “A decade ago, students heartily used to respect and obey their teachers and were always found guilty on their mistakes. But now most of them don’t revere their spiritual fathers truly from the heart and take them for granted. If however, this is pointed out they tend to feel disgraced on the contrary.”

Like every coin has two sides, this case has two angles as well. The story doesn’t end at students disrespecting teachers but the other side of the picture depicts an even pitiable reality.

Where there is a sheer dearth of subservient students, competent and righteous teachers are also hardly found. There is also an alarming level of deficiency of civilized educational environment which can only be guaranteed in the presence of decent and competent teachers. It seems that an unbreakable spiral has formed due to the conditions mentioned above which can only be fixed if both sides consciously try and make an effort to improve the situation.

Students gain a lot from the personality of their teacher and from the environment which a teacher maintains during the class. A sophisticated educational environment surely injects outstanding professional and moral abilities in students and thus vastly contributes to character building. If this is the level of influence that teachers have on students then you can very well imagine what effect indecent language (which, sorry to say, is frequently adopted and allowed even by the teachers of well reputed educational institutes) must have. In such a scenario both teachers and students are to be blamed for both accepting and allowing such behaviour on each other’s part.

Furthermore, another main problem over which both students and teachers have conflicting opinions is the fact that nowadays teaching has become synonymous with merely delivering the relevant content to the student, whose job is restricted to receiving that content instead of actively participating in class lectures. Teachers on their part present justifications for this by stating that the chief intention of the educational activity is simply “content delivery” and as long as this is being done they can’t be blamed for not doing their job effectively. However, what needs to be noted here is that the main goal of education and teaching is not just to produce “learned individuals”, who know their books inside out, but to produce ethically and morally sound literates who can face the world and adjust their personalities accordingly.

Sadly enough, except for a few, majority of the teachers today have chosen to ignore this reality and thus barely make an effort to engage students in healthy, interactive discussions related to the subject being taught and their moral nourishment. It goes without saying that this negatively affects a student’s personality and intellectual development.

The bond between a teacher and a student is based on a give and take relation. It derives its strength from certain fundamental factors which if ignored can lead to fast deterioration of the relation. A student must in all circumstances respect his teachers and try to absorb as much knowledge from him as possible. On the other hand, a teacher must try to earn the respect of a student by paying attention to their needs and fulfilling his responsibility effectively. Only, if both students and teacher extend their cooperation towards each other can the situation improve.


Posted by on November 2, 2008 in Education


2 responses to “It takes two to get it right

  1. Areej

    November 10, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    Another Nice piece :)….But let me tell you that there are still alot of teachers who really deserve much respect. All the knowledge I am blessed with now, is not due to I being book worm but because of the lessons of my very teachers, whom I really pay tribute.

  2. fdsheikh

    November 12, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Oh yes, of course I’m cent percent agreed with you, Areej. In Urdu we say na “Teachers ‘Rohanee’waladain hoty hain” and when the word “Walidain” (Parents) is associated with teachers, respect for them automatically gets roots in human heart. :) But still there are some particular sort of teachers that ought to be addressed via this particular article. Anyhow, thanks for the appreciation. :)



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