By Mahjabeen Malik
O’ Geoffrey Chaucer, where are thee ?
Father of poetry, Come hither, help me.
I have to paint a picture of the teacher, today.
With all professional duties and moral decay.
HI, dear readers do not suspect on my faith. My faith is firm on Allah Almighty Alhamdulillah. In the prologue of my article, I just pay a tribute to Geoffrey Chaucer, the father of English poetry and master of the art of characterization. A worthy scholar called Tahir Jee has suggested me to pen down on this topic ‘Moral Decay of Teachers’. When I, finally, thought to paint the true, lifelike picture of the teachers of the contemporary age, the bird of my ripple, wild thoughts flew back in the 14th century, ‘’The Age of Chaucer’’. After visiting the art gallery of Chaucer, the bird of my ripple thoughts came back to me and whispered. There is no difference between the polluted and corrupt society of the age of Chaucer and the age of Imran Khan’s, Naya Pakistan.
That, if gold rust, what shall iron do?
For if the priest be foul, in whom we trust,
No wonder if a layman yield to lust;
And shame it is, if a priest take a keep,
A shitty shepherded shepherding clean sheep,
Unfortunately, our whole society is burning in the fire of sins. No field, no profession is free from corruption like that of Chaucerian age. But when we come to know about the corruption of teachers, we really feel dejected. Because teaching is a prophetic profession. Teachers lay the foundation of a good nation. They are builders, masons, mentors, spiritual fathers and moral trainers. If they are polluted what the rest will do?
Two years back, in 2016, I had painted the ugly picture of poets and writers in my Urdu funny sketch (kuton ki conference) which was published in Sarzameen e Pakistan. Shoaib Mirza the editor of Phool Magazin had asked me, ‘’You should not use such harsh satirical words and pungent remarks against poets & writers’’. And he refused to publish my funny but ironical sketch in his paper. Later on, it was published in Sarzameen-e-Pakistan and was admired by the readers and writers as well. And I also won a prize in that sketch in a competition in the same year.
Ah! My heart is bleeding today while writing about the moral decline of teachers. How has this prophetic profession tragically become polluted? The only reason, to my understanding, is lust. Lust for power, lust for wealth, lust for popularity and lust for sex. First, let me make it clear to you, my article is free from gender discrimination. Male and female teachers both are lacking moral virtue and spoiling the precious asset of the nation but in their own way.
Female teachers behave so un-scrupulously, in the wardrobe of fashion they consider themselves beauty queen. Female teachers from wealthy families spend 50% of their salary on their dressing, 25% on makeup or solon and the rest of 25% on junk food. They sleep with their smartphones and open their eyes on their cell phones (a modern billet-doux) early in the morning. These unscrupulous teachers make their videos on Tick Talk and post them on their WhatsApp status. One very pitiable thing, I would like to share with you about my ex-colleague (sorry to mention her name), she shares her videos smoking shisha, and she releases the puffs of smoke from her pretty mouth squeezing her eyes like an addicted drunkard. After watching her videos on WhatsApp status my brain gets tired to understand the psyche of my dear colleague. Don’t worry dear readers, I think, it is the fashion of the elite class. People can go to any extent to be considered among the elite class/ fashionable. It is the lust of popularity that urges them to make and post so many selfies and Tick Talk videos.
Lack of moral virtue in male teachers is drastically dangerous. Everyone wants to get one’s own bungalow gari ( Mercedes) and a luxuriant lifestyle. So the teachers have become mercenary and the only objective of their life is to earn money by hook or by crook.
I have already highlighted this issue in my previous article ‘’Expensive Education in Pakistan’’.
Now a day, the darkest picture of our society is sexual abuse. Female students, unfortunately, have to face troubles on a daily bases. Many girls have become the victim of harassment in the hands of their teachers. After the rape and murder case of innocent Zainab, girls have started protesting against sexual abuse. But Zainab’s rape and murder are understandable to some extent as Chaucer says if a layman commits a sin of lechery it can be considered.
For if the priest be foul, in whom we trust,
No parents can trust teachers’ piety, honesty and chastity. The pages of the daily newspapers are black with such obnoxious news of sexual abuse. A teacher of Saraiki department, Ajmal Mahar, who was allegedly involved in the rape case of a female student at The Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU), had been suspended by the Varsity administration on 25th January 2018. This is the only example of teacher’s wickedness, there are thousands of other stories similar to that. It is not possible to mention all the stories here. But I would like to mention a survey report. I asked some open-ended questions from female students of a university in Lahore, 95% of girls told that they are harassed by their male teachers. On the pretext of group study, WhatsApp group study and information, they take their phone numbers. Later on, they start sending them personal messages. Ah! How teachers are morally decayed?
The government of Pakistan, HEC, The administrative body of Private Education sector and other stakeholders collectively need to conduct some moral training workshops on weekly bases for teachers to bring a positive change in our socio-cultural behaviour. And to make the educational institutes safe for children and female.