Friday, May 16, 2014

Teachers of the glorious old days

When I was in form two in 1967,I was appointed as the class monitor. Among the duties of a monitor was the difficult task of keeping the students quiet and to report anyone who  misbehaved when the teacher was not around.

There were a few rebellious boys in my class who always gave me trouble. After a few months I got so fed up of being the monitor that I approached my teacher and told him I wanted to relinquish the post   as some my classmates refuse to listen to me. My teacher, who was in his early forties, took me to the office and listened to the reasons why I wanted to give up the job. After patiently listening to my explanation he asked me, “One day you when grow up and become a father, what will you if your children refused to listen to you? Will you say I don’t want to be their father?”. With that he refused to accept my resignation and encouraged me to continue as the monitor, reassuring he will help me out. I was disappointed but continued with the job and with his guidance I started to do well and enjoyed being the monitor of the class.

At that time, at the age of 16, my teacher’s advice did not make much meaning but today with children of my own I understand the wisdom of what my teacher told me when I was a boy 47 years ago. I specially appreciate his advice when my own children disobey me and do things which I disapprove. I cannot say I do not want to their father but try my utmost to accommodate and find ways to correct them.

This was one the many teachers I still remember very well. He was hard working, dedicated and caring for his students, regardless of race or religion. He was an example of the many wonderful teachers we used to have before, who not just taught to pass examinations but taught us what life really was.

Today with an extremely high crime rate, disrespect for elders and people of other faiths and races and the blatant disregard for law and order among the people especially the young, we are witnessing the failure of teachers in our schools, through whom our children and grandchildren are trained and groomed.

Dedicated teachers like those of the yesteryear are rarely seen today and the few who are good have a tough time carrying out the duties in the way they should due to severe adverse pressures of the system that is becoming increasing materialistic, selfish and racist.

Coming from a system of the past that was excellent and the best in the region, all we can do is hope and pray that someday we will be able to regain the past glory in our schools of which we were so proud before.

Happy Teacher’s Day

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