The quality of our students has dropped recently. Bright students, happy students, motivated students; this is the motto of the recently elected socialist leaning government. But the question is, how close are we to it? A group of angry mothers has recently started a countrywide protest drive against what they term sub par teachers. It is the statement of the Mothers of the Nation League that it is sub standard teachers and a very large quantity of them that is causing such a major downturn in the educational capabilities of our nation’s youth. Some protestors actually seemed to be loosing interest in the continued struggle against an ailing educational system, one mother actually told the media on the sidelines of the protest that she would rather be at home and make a hearty vegetable stew than stand on M A Jinnah road and shout slogans against bad teachers.
A strong sense of nostalgia for teachers of the good ole days seems to be common amongst the protestors. One protesting father said that he remembered in the good old days when teachers used to come up with good humourous statements to teach students good grammar. He even quoted an example where a teacher is reported to have said, “You can, but you may not!”. Good times. But unfortunately we do not hear such statements nowadays. What a loss.
As we all know, any argument is incomplete without listening to both sides of the story. “Why would anyone want to become a teacher?” asks the Chief Presidential Officer of the Teacher Protection League. Teachers are underpaid, overworked and they don’t even have dental. The average salaries of teachers compared to the average Pakistani worker has dropped by 78% over the past five decades. And to add to all this many parents nowadays do not want to pay the big bucks for their children’s education. The CPO of the Teacher Protection League even quotes an irate mother saying that “Should I make Haleem for my brother visiting from the States or educate my children in expensive schools?”. Pointing to a very deep rooted problem being faced by the Pakistani society now.
This seems to the most serious challenge being faced by the recently elected socialist leaning government. Apart from the complete socio cultural collapse of our society.
Altamash Hai Khan, Karachi Times