By Azhar Iqbal
Teachers are said to be the successors of the Prophets because they do what the Prophets of Almighty Allah did in their lives. Here in our beloved homeland, teachers are treated like a second-class citizen.This fact is very shameful for the nation that came into existence in the name of Islam,the religion which emphasis on the rights of every individual. The same way the rights of ordinary citizens are abused, teachers face a similar treatment. We need to think about ways to save the noble profession, the teacher from this injustice.
Teachers are preachers, that is why they are called the successors of Messengers. Perhaps we treat them as the Prophets were treated by the ignorant people of their times.
In our society,teachers can be categorisedin four major types: teachers in public sector institutions, teachers in private institutions, Madrassa teachers and tutors. Except some well reputed public sector and private institutions, teachers are not given the due regard, respect and protocol which they really deserve.
Public sector institutions are lucky in a way that they have qualified teachers but it is an admitted fact that they have concerns with their rights. Even they have to come on the roads to raise their voice, instead of being in the classrooms and teaching. The teachers providing theirs services in government schools, colleges and universities protest and stage sit-ins against governments to get their basic rights, which shows the state of education and government seriousness on the issue. Teachers are the valued assets of a country. Their place is their institution not roads.
On the other hand, teachers in private sector are also in a bad situation. Their condition is also unpleasant as compared to the public sector teachers. If the try to protest, they are simply kicked out of their jobs. Majority of the private school are underemployed. Teachers get paid less against their professional qualification, thus creating another problem in the education sector. Due to a few job opportunities available at government institutions, they have to rely on a very small income. If a government elementary school teacher gets a sum of Rs20,000per month, a private sector educator, with the same educational background and professional skills, is teaching in a private school on a salary of just Rs5,000only.
In Pakistan public sector teachers are being ignored by the government, the private teachers are the victims of feudalistic behaviour of private institution owners. If a teacher teaches a class of 30 students and the fee of each pupil is Rs1,000 that means the owner is earning Rs30,000 from that class, while not even paying just Rs7,000 to the hardworking teacher.
However, some western-style schools pay a handsome amount to the teachers but they are very few in numbers.
If we observe the status of Madrassahteachers, we will come to know the miserable life they have to lead. They are not even given equal status to the teachers working in schools, colleges and universities. MadrassahMualimeenhave to live hand-to-mouth. They no doubt do it for the noble cause of education, but ignore the important pillar of the system.
In the educational landscape of Pakistan, private tutor have emerged as another very dominant force. Tutors can be broadly categorised in two distinct groups.
The first is of those who work in academies and have their own tuition centres. And the second is of those whom we call home tutors. Both types of tutors are mostly better paid, but they are also treated in a disrespectful way. Especially home tutors are not welcomed in an appreciable way. The parents who pay a good amount consider the teacher their personal property.
Teacher at every level of the educational system is facing problems in our society. Teachers play a key role in building great nations. The countries where teachers are ignored, can’t march on the road of prosperity. We, being Muslims and Pakistanis, need to treat the teachers as the most respected members of the society, the right way of treating the teachers.