Whiling away time

RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE

As a government teacher I had an eight to two job. There were hardly any transfers in our sector those days. In school, when not teaching, I would remain glued to a reading chair in the library. Though teachers are regarded as nation-builders, not all are dedicated to the profession.

I do not intend to question the credibility of the whole teaching fraternity as ‘all apples in a basket are not rotten’. During my long career, I have come across many people from the teaching fraternity who failed to perform their duties. Many of my former colleagues would often abstain from taking classes. Even when as exams drew closer, they would bask in the sun eating mungfali (peanuts) and sipping countless cups of tea.

Some of the female teachers were equally notorious for indulging in ceaseless gossip-mongering sessions. They would while away their time by  knitting sweaters, spinning the yarns of rumours and school politics. Whereas the earnest students would helplessly loaf around here and there with the hope that their learned teachers would impart some lessons of life to them.

Most of my colleagues were always at loggerheads with me as I never skipped any class. One colleague would sarcastically remark that I would change the system. However, I had no intention to bring any revolutionary changes in the system. But my conscience never let me follow the suit of some of my colleagues.

All through my teaching career I was only convinced of one bitter truth that all the parents cannot afford to send their wards to private schools. And as  teachers it was our moral responsibility towards our society to teach with our best of abilities and capabilities.

Though government was paying us, some of us did not deliver in return. Ironically, most of the teachers who would excuse themselves from teaching would always worry about the education and career prospects of their own children. None of them had got their children admitted to government schools. Their children would study in plush English medium private schools.

When it comes to promotions and pay hikes, people go on strikes and do not hesitate to mount the public water-tanks, but on the contrary sincerity towards work hardly matters. Indeed in this era of moral bankruptcy among the teaching community, some truly committed people still set the examples of utmost dedication to duty. All teachers should teach with honesty first and do justice to their sacred profession. Here the flaw is not in the government and its schools. It is the shirkers who mar the future of the children.

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