Arshid Aziz

Beyond the celebration: Story of Teachers’ plight and a black day

Beyond the celebration: Story of Teachers’ plight and a black day
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“The one who learns and teaches will be called the great one in the kingdom of heaven” Al-Ghazali.

Every year September 5 is celebrated as Teachers Day in honor of Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishan for his contribution to the Indian education system. On this day we recall our teachers who have educated, enlightened and chivvied us into the action of life. On this day various programmes, rallies and seminars are organized to highlight the role and importance of teachers.

Teacher is the maker of the nation, the one who has a great contribution in our lives, the Godparent of our future. The pouch of a great trust-trust to provide a peaceable life, cultured, moral and a tolerant society. He is the one who is responsible for filling us with fellow feeling, God-fearing, patience, sympathy etc.

The teaching has also been the job of our beloved Prophet Muhammad ( PBUH) as Allah (saw) says, “Just as We have sent among you a messenger from yourselves reciting to you Our verses and purifying you and teaching you the Book and wisdom and teaching you that which you did not know. [Al-Baqarah: 151]. In one of the ahadeeth, the Prophet (PBUH) said “Allah and His angels and the people of the heavens and the earth, even the ant in its hole and even the whale are praying to the one who teaches people the good. (Tirmidhi). Our beloved Prophet (PBUH) has also praised the teaching profession. Thus, we can say a teacher has a great status in the society. In Islam he has a tremendous role in making the better society. He is not only a teacher but he is a leader who stimulates our mental prospect and broadens our attitude. The depot of knowledge and obviously, an architect of a society. De facto, the builder of the nation. Allama Iqbal is all praise to the teachers and considers them as one of the most influential groups of people, whom he holds accountable and delegates the responsibility for the renovation and revitalization of civilization. For the poet, the youth are like the Shaheens (eaglets) and it is the obligation of the teacher to give them the strong wings to soar high. To quote him,

Shikayat hai Mujhe ya Rab! Khudawandan-e-Maktab se,

Sabaq shaheen bachon ko de rahe hain khaak bazi ka! (Bal-e-Jibril)

Philosopher Allama perceives teachers as craftsmen whose profession is to make the best out of the fresh material, thus puts it;

Sheikh-e-maktab hai ik emarat gar

Jiss ki sannat hai ruh-e-insani! (Zarb-e-Kalim)

Certainly, a teacher plays a dynamic part overall. He justifies gargantuan status and abundance of respect and honor.

However, it is very unfortunate to see that in our society this teacher does not get the position which he deserves. The condition is so tear-jerking that our nation builders are observing teachers day as a Black Day to lament their doomed fate. Not only this, on Monday, they have fired up their open-ended hunger strike to record their objections against “step-motherly” behavior of the regime.

The SSA pattern that was propelled, more than a decade ago in Jammu and Kashmir, intended at universalizing basic schooling, had been applied without appropriate preparation and a suitable policy. Henceforth, it has a lot of dodges, gaps, and loopholes. But the truth is also there, that under this scheme quite a few intelligent persons and vivid minds were selected as tutors. However, their cranial gorgeousness got nasty in the structure.

Narrating his tale a dedicated Teacher puts it with weepy eyes, “I was designated as an ReT teacher in the year 2009 in my village. In those days I was the only entrant in my hamlet who had secured a distinction in the 10th and 12th course. I was from the science stream and hence deserved the post of ReT. As teaching was my craving so I was on cloud nine when I became a government teacher. But now I am psychologically distressed and feel quite suffocated by the pitiable disorder which I am experiencing. I desired to outshine in my studies, I too desired to explore myself in the higher education and had dreams to study at prestigious universities like JNU, AMU, DU etc. Now the time has passed. Although I have finished Masters and B.Ed. yet I am feeling vulnerability and subservience complex with the daily happenings which are meted out on ReT teachers. On one day we are being told that you are contractual employees and the other day someone says that we exist nowhere”.
Another teacher spoke in the same dejected language and gave vent to his pent-up emotions in these words:
“You see our issue has been highly politicized time and again by the successive regimes but nobody has taken us seriously and has never tried to take a sustainable solution to our genuine problems. As per the Order No. 396 of SSA scheme we were supposed to get appointed after five years as General Line teachers but on seeing the contradicting statements issued from the power corridors of this unfortunate state we feel ashamed how they manipulate truth and treat us as a dumb driven cattle.”

This is quite perturbing that those who were relinquished to figure the resolve of the nation are wandering on the roads of summer capital to earn their own destinies, cruelly trodden up by SPOs who have been hired under the IG’s direct employment plan on the basis of their height and health. Marred under the jackboot of soldierly power beaten, harassed, dehumanized and jailed because they complained against the hawkish and aggressive policies of the government and demanded their right which has been snatched by colonial might. Everything getting muzzled through police vendetta.

“Teachers in China have the highest level of public respect, according to an international study comparing their status in 21 countries”(source BBC) and here in our country, they do every menial job from formulating the survey report to vaccinating the countryside sheep and making the election process a success.

It is high time that we pay the highest compliments to our adored teachers who have guided us to the right trail and provided us wings to hover great. Lets pledge to respect them for they made us believe that sky is the limit and small aim is a crime.

Author is post graduate in English Literature. He hails from Rawalpora, Shopian and can be mailed at arshidshah.uk@gmail.com.

Disclaimer: Views expressed are exclusively personal and do not necessarily reflect the position or editorial policy of Oracle Opinions.

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