Education and Qualities of Teacher
The Sindh provincial government, to upgrade the standard of education in the government schools of the province, has announced to raise the required educational qualification of primary teachers from Matriculation to Graduation and to make a reasonable enhancement in the salaries of the teachers. With these decisions, the Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah has stressed to make appointments in Education Department purely on merit basis. He has also announced to seek help from different Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) working in the province for the promotion of education. It is also decided to make women more powerful and for this purpose only graduate lady teachers would be preferred for appointment in primary schools whereas male teachers would only be appointed in the districts where no graduate lady teachers are available. No doubt, to raise the performance of government schools and to better the standard of education, the upgradation of required educational qualification for primary teachers from Matric to Degree and to enhance their pay and allowances is a remarkable and commendable step but such decisions should not be taken in haste or in revolutionary style. Such steps need to be taken keeping in mind the ongoing circumstances. This latest decision of the Sindh Government would affect the result of the written test held recently for the employment of teachers. In this test about one lac twenty five thousand candidates from around the province majority of which was having qualification from matric to intermediate had appeared.
As far as the qualification and qualities of a teacher are concerned, it is an undeniable fact that just passing an exam, having more and more studies or obtaining degrees cannot make someone a good teacher as becoming literate or scholar after getting education is entirely different from benefiting others with one's knowledge and scholastic qualities. Teaching, in fact, is not a profession but a service to mankind and it becomes motive for development in the society. Regarding teaching our Holy Prophet (SAW) said, "No doubt, I have been sent as a teacher". Our former teachers had the same qualities and identification which Islam stresses but the thinkers and philosophers of West have crushed the holiness of teaching by making it a profession. If it were a profession how could the Holy Prophet (SAW) declare himself a teacher?
Importance of a teacher can be judged with the fact that he holds the reins of the nation in his hands. To which direction he wants, he can turn the nation. This is for the same reason that a teacher is also called the builder of the nation. Imam Ghazali declares a teacher the pillar of a building. If the pillar is weak or poor then definitely the building will not be able to stand. Whatever the number of schools a country has, how magnificent and august the buildings of schools are, and how effective and comprehensive the curriculum is - but if there are no sincere and efficient teachers, there is nothing. A good book can also not be a replacement of the teacher. A teacher himself is a live book who puts such marks on the personality of the students which cannot be removed for whole of the life.
Generally it is observed that the children have great and natural attraction towards a good teacher and terming him an ideal personality feel proud to follow him in every stage of their life. The reasons of this are the wisdom, deep study and scholastic nature of the teacher. A best teacher may possess some qualities which include good health, voice, nobility, honesty, politeness, leadership, command on subject, training of teaching, interest in co-curricular activities, inclination towards research and experiments, etc. If a teacher lacks of any of these qualities, he cannot be a good and favourite teacher.
Personality: Definition of a personality cannot be enclosed in selected words. Personality is, in fact, a combination of all the possible qualities of a person which gives him a specific identification. It is a mirror which reflects the inner and outer of a person. So it is necessary for a teacher that he should possess a pure heart, chaste soul, and pure qualities. He should not good at speech but should also prove himself a good personality with his character. He should obey the words of himself and follow whatever he says or orders the others.
Health: Personality, to a large extent, also depends upon the health of human. How much qualities a teacher may or may not possess but if he is not healthy, he cannot transfer the knowledge and his abilities to the students. This is not enough but discharging his responsibilities would also be difficult. So he should keep himself healthy and for this he should follow the basic principles of health and hygiene.
Voice: A human being expresses his thoughts in the form of either written notes or in the form of speech. He impresses others with his writings and addresses. As far as a teacher is concerned, he delivers lectures in the class and if he does same with a balance in his voice, with uniformed ups and downs of the speech, and with proper and suitable accent to catch the attraction of the audience then he may be successful in his objective. The frequency and style of his voice in the classroom has deep effects on the students. His accent and delivery should be so nice that the interest of the students remains intact and the class should pay full attention towards the lecture or the lesson being briefed by the teacher. The pitch of the voice should be optimum; neither very slow nor very high. His voice should indicate which things he is giving stress on or which are less important. A dignity, confidence, energy and knowledge should be reflected from the speech of the teacher. A speech lack of all these qualities cannot produce interest, motivation, enthusiasm, attraction, and energy among the students.
Honesty and Nobility: A good teacher is honest, noble, sympathizer, sober, knowledgeful, determined, and tolerant not only in the class but also outside the classroom. As a teacher and a taught have strong relation, there is a great impact of the personality of the former on the latter. This is only a noble and honourable teacher who can show the right path and who can guide his student properly and honestly. In every field of his life, he resorts to honesty and nobility. He does not exercise ill-will and intolerance and never expresses biased attitude. He loves and pays equal attention to each and every student. He keeps his words and promises and does whatever he says. He follows the lesson of hardwork and honesty in teaching and also expects his students to follow the same in their studies.
Command on Subject: Ibne Khuldun and Imam Ghazali have stressed greatly on the expertise and knowledge of the teacher. According to them if a teacher does not possess these qualities, he cannot put any effect on the personalities of the students. This concept has not been changed even today and the experts say that the teacher should have commond on his subject. This does not mean that the teacher should pay attention to only the subject he teaches but he should also have knowledge of the allied and related subjects. It is also necessary for a teacher that he should continue his studies and continue proper transfer of knowledge to his students.
Professional Training: No doubt, teaching is a God-gifted quality and everyone cannot become a teacher. A good teacher is, in fact, a teacher by birth and he cannot be made artificially. But despite that it is a fact that a trained teacher is better than an untrained teacher as a trained teacher not only knows the different styles and methods of teaching but he is also aware of the objectives of education, principles of teaching, methods of education, and psychology of the students. Not only this but due to his professional training, he also has knowledge about administration of institution and academic guidance.
Now the Government of Sindh has taken decision to upgrade the status and salaries of the teachers and also upgraded the required qualification for teachers. The government has also decided to give more chance to lady teachers instead of their gents counterparts. No doubt, this decision would be effective to give more powers to women in the society but this does not seem to be effective to improve the performance of the schools and to better the standard of education. The decision of taking help from the NGOs in the promotion of education is also a good decision but before doing so it is also necessary to focus on the clear and right priorities. To improve the present conditions of government schools, there is a lot to do as thousands of schools have been non-operative despite their existence on papers for a long time whereas the schools which are functioning, are in very deteriorated condition and the parents who have a little ability, send their wards to private schools instead of government ones. So this important sector needs to be given more and serious attention so that the future of the nation can be saved.