On Education, Competition and Teachers

On Education, Competition and Teachers

Malik Nazir Ahmad

As teachers we know about these definitions but perhaps we have forgotten the great role ordained to us. We are not free in our action but stand accountable to Almighty. We would be taken to the task on the great judgment day. We appreciate the concern of great humanists; we don’t understand certain facts about our great role. We leap up on the wings of the worldly progress and congratulate ourselves for the great stride we have taken. We have our eyes set on far away planets and distant galaxies but unfortunately we forget that our feet are still on earth.
To speak bluntly, the way I attempted definitions earlier seems a sad mooring on the Utopian ideas which once were beloved to human race. Do we really believe the things we preach? Do we preach our faith and practice our thought? Do we mean in the capacity of parents, in the capacity of teachers that education has to do anything beyond literacy? If we are not hypocrites, we should come up with a big “NO”. We have failed in our preaching. We have reduced our education to a commercial act. We have pushed our students to the deadly dangerous fangs of “Competition”. We have told the lesson on material benefits by demonstration. We are carried away by the torrent of race by the metaphor of the word competition. Much of perspiration goes in the making this word. We are blind to the extent of subhuman or inhuman domains when it comes to beating the counterpart. This race of competition is inebriated to such an extent that we forget the basic human values and gateways of spiritual well being. We have only taught the essence of the word “competition” and perhaps forgotten our role as a teachers and human beings.
Go back now to our central position. We only play with letters to the extent of acquaintance. We do not believe in the words we read and write but our relationship with our letters are like that of commercial producers. So long our letters bring us economy in the form of money, we love the letters; once they fail, and we cut our links with them. It has resulted in the collapse of education, the corridors of corruption, the blindness of sages, the rule of robbers, the strangulation of justice, the plunge into inhumanity, the dance round the bandwagon of lust, foul play, deception and fraud; it is a situation of massive mess and anarchy. As a result, an ordinary man pounces and snatches the situation and passes sarcastic remarks on teachers.
“Competition” has made our students the victims of a paralyzed system, they have become mere actors of a staged drama, and they are like those tragic heroes who are at the mercy of divine powers. They play in it because they are thrown on a pitch where from they have no escape. If they play the part according to the desire of spectators who watch them with displacement and detachment, they would be applauded, if not the condemnation follows. In a paralyzed system of education which we are a party to, we create the spare parts for a huge machinery. This is the only equation we care about. The result is apathy, rootlessness, dissatisfaction, depression, neurosis and immorality; we have narrowed our education that is why we suffer frustration, dissatisfaction and degeneration. We are bound to reap what we have sown. The students have the equal right to discredit us beyond a place where we meet not as professional. Probably we never spoke beyond utilitarian principles. We have taxed them with notes, with the burden of memorization and ethics of competition only. They need more sympathy because they don’t live the part to it.
Tailpiece: The pride of a teacher who used to inspire noble action and great deeds is replaced by the word competition and in the race I have lost my track. There are better runners who deserve more attention. I will demand my rights, my greatest right to be respected. I am what I have done to myself like the Shakespearean King Lear: “I would beat about the bush could anybody hear me. I am whispering my thought-I stumble while I see”.

The author can be reached at: [email protected]

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