'A teacher should only be a teacher'
Karachi, April 24(The News): Talking to Dr Mohammad Abu Zar Wajidi was a unique experience in many ways.
Simple and candid in his expression, it is evident that he is not a man who
minces words. Wajidi, former acting vice chancellor of the University of Karachi
(KU), ex-dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and current Chairman of the
Department of Public Administration, is entirely free of the affectation that
becomes a hallmark of those who reach such heights.
He also has a PhD in
Public Administration (PA) from the KU. The title of his PhD work was "Municipal
Administration: A Case Study of Administrative and Financial Organisation of
KMC". He is an accomplished public speaker and has conducted a number of
workshops and seminars on PA, especially on public speaking and management in
the public sector.
Answering a question about the role of PA in human
society he said that, "Public administration can be broadly described as the
study and implementation of policy. As a moral endeavour, PA is linked to
pursuing public good through the creation of civil society and social justice.
The adjective 'public' often denotes 'government', though it increasingly
encompasses non-governmental organisations (NGOs)ึ"
He is a prolific
researcher and has supervised 12 PhD students. At present 20 M.Phil /PhD
students are working under his supervision. "I maintain a cordial relationship
with my students and encourage them to work in a tension-free environment. I
listen to them, admire their intellectual curiosity and try to provide them with
the right answers". But his professional guidance is not limited to students of
his department. He provides his intellectual prowess to students of the
department of Political Science, KU, University of Balochistan, University of
Sindh and Gomal University.
Wajidi is a very busy man who frequents
seminars, conferences and workshops at home and abroad. He has participated in
more than 30 such events. He was selected to participate in the International
Visitors Programme of the US Information Agency on "Grass root Democracy in the
United States" and took active part in the lectures, discussions, and panel
discussions held in Washington D.C., Portland, Los Angeles and the east coast of
His humility charms students, colleagues and visitors. The
students of his department are fond of him as he is always willing to assist
them in their search for knowledge. Additionally, his busy schedule has not
hindered his work as a writer and researcher. He has penned four books; two are
published while the other two are in the process of being published. He has also
had 34 research publications in national and international journals.
When I asked him if he is affiliated with any political organisation, he
answered, "No. My philosophy is that a teacher should only be a teacher.
Political or religious affiliations will be a digression from the educational
path." Wajidi is not satisfied with the present state of education in the
university and the country. He is of the opinion that radical steps have to be
taken to enhance the standard. "We are never tired of claiming that enhancing
educational standards is our priority. Practically things are not any different
from before. There should be a drastic change in the mindset of teachers and
students to create an environment of intellectual serenity in the
So what should be the guiding principle for teachers and
other stakeholders of the university, I ask. "Teachers, students and
administrative staff should perform their roles in a proper manner. There should
not be any laxity on their part. They should understand that it is all about
teamwork and they have to perform their part." He criticised the attitude of
administrative staff who work as government servants disregarding the interests
of teachers and students. They are confident that since they are government
employees no body can remove them from service. Hence, they do not perform their
duties in accordance with the rules and regulations of the university.
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