Choosing Not To Be A Fool, By Ali Garba
I suspect most people have a limited understanding of the word Teacher. For most people, including teachers, teaching is an occupation or, in modern patronising CBS (my students would know this acronym), a profession. In this limited sense teaching consists of delivering lessons in subject areas following standard processes and contents using appropriate and standardised tools and methods.
But for those who are engaged with and in the task, teaching is much more than an occupation or profession. Delivering subject lessons is just one obviuos and perhaps visible role of a teacher. The more important behaviour influencing and character moulding role, which is less obvious and invisible, is not appreciated or even recognised.
The teacher, it has to be said, creates and or transform a raw, shapeless, directionless and idealess pupil with no sense or understanding of the future, into a strong, focused, humane, functional, ambitious and proud individual. She then equip this essentially quarrelsome and frenzy person with the necessary tools to define his/her domain in life and how to excell and suceed to the limit of his space in that domain.
Viewed this way, the task of teaching, i.e., moulding a functional individual and equiping him to be the pride of his community, cannot be left to a lazy opportunist looking for an easy Naira to keep cold and hunger at bay. Nor should this be left to politicians to provide spending money for their boys, gals, relatives and pets.
This, indeed, is what we have been doing for years. And now the price is becoming unaffordable – unemployability, high and rising crime rate, drug abuse, cultism, ethnicism and all manner of ‘isms’ – and some turncoats are insisting the price is not only right but we should continue to pay – regardless of the tragic outcome.
Let it be known by the serious that teaching is neither an occupation nor a profession. It is a mission from God. So, let not the wicked among you, therefore, hamper this mission and let not yourself be counted among the wicked.
We can chose to be nice about this and postpone the problem to another, possibly more painful, time. But we can also face and solve it now. The wise should be guided by a simple maxim “never postpone until tomorrow what today can accommodate”.