Today is Teacher Appreciation Day!
May 04: It is not known when or by whom it was begun but there is a universal trend to name the different days of the year to mark or celebrate various happenings, events and personalities.
Some of these days are marked around the world because they are of global importance, while others are just local. The list also includes awareness 'months' or 'weeks' for one cause or another, for example, 'Sixteen days of activism to create awareness about discrimination against women' and so on.
May the 4th has been declared as 'Teacher Appreciation Day' and how many people know about it or whether it will be marked in Pakistan is not clear but it is a good move. Although not all teachers are role models and a number of 'black sheep' exist in the system, on the whole, they deserve appreciation because of the difficult job they have of handling many children at one time - they have to have the patience of Joab and the strength of Superman! A mother with a family gets harassed when her children act up and she has only two or three to deal with, while a teacher has to deal with twenty to forty children of varied ages and that too without resorting to physical punishment, something quite common in most homes.
A teacher and expert on education, Joseph Wardy, says the word 'teacher' contains the word 'teach' but the role of the teacher to teach can be an oversimplification of the educator's role. "At the elementary level, the teacher's role is to lead the children on the path of learning, how to love learning. So, in a sense, the most gifted of teachers are at this level.
At the middle school level, the teachers are posed with other types of challenges. Here, kids are old enough to be disrespectful but too young to be mature and the attention span is weakened. Teaching traditionally is a nightmare, as kids today are products of the computer age and seek instant gratification.
At the high school level, the teacher has an opportunity, to some extent, to tap into the experience of the student by creating a learning environment of partnership. The key to the class dynamics here is for the teacher not to always teach traditionally but to create a role as a facilitator of learning."
She concludes, "Although the pay is far from fantastic, the work is more than rewarding. There is a certain satisfaction in being able to positively impact a child's life and watching it grow to become a loving and responsible member of society. To me, there is no greater job in the world and I would not trade it for any other."
The above descriptions of a teacher's role are the ideal ones and may or may not be found in the teaching fraternity in Pakistan, where education is not given the importance it deserves and not all teachers are trained to teach. For example, in many small private schools, housewives interested in making a little extra money to support the family budget are playing the role and what commitment they bring to the job is anybody's guess. And there are anomalies on the hiring of teachers in some of the more expensive schools as well but for the moment, let us refrain from nit-picking and give teachers the appreciation they deserve by marking the day and doing something special to recognise their role - it may even make the not so committed ones change their attitude! - By Ishrat Hyatt
Education Expo ends with many finding likely options
Islamabad: The two-day International Education Expo 2010 concluded here Monday with hundreds of students continuously visiting the stalls of foreign universities to evaluate the available options for admissions.
The representatives of prominent universities remained present not only to provide basic information about their respective institutions but also to award on-the-spot admissions after the evaluation of academic records and brief interviews in various disciplines ranging from engineering, health sciences and journalism to law, criminology and criminal justice.
The universities that participated in the event included Australian National University, Murdoch University, University of New Castle, Deakin University, Swinburne University of Technology, Central Queensland University, University of Wollongong, University of Wollongong (Dubai), La Trobe University, Griffith University, Kangan Institute, NMIT, Holmesglen Institute of TAFE, TAFE NSW, and Melbourne Institute of Technology.
High Commissioner of Australia Tim George in his message said his country takes seriously its reputation as a safe destination for international students seeking high quality education. "Personal care and student support are also an important part of Australia's education system. Australian institutions are sensitive to religious and cultural needs, and provide a range of support and monitoring services to ensure that students settle into their new environment." Tim George said there are currently more than 5,000 Pakistani students studying in Australia, adding, "I trust that this community will continue to grow."
The students were also briefed about the Australian Development Scholarships Programmes for which they could apply till the 7th of this month.
Managing Director HR International Hamid Rauf in his comments said this is the right time for Masters, Bachelors, A/O levels and intermediate students to apply for study in Australia. "We brought a great opportunity for students, as there was no application or consultancy fee, and every one was encouraged to submit an application to secure admissions for Jul/Sept/Feb intake," he said.
Neelum Khan, a student, said these universities are offering coursers in both vocational and higher education sectors, and qualification ranging from certificates, Bachelors and Masters to PhDs allow students to suit their individual interests and career aspirations. She said the presence of representatives of foreign universities made it easier for students to directly interact with them and ask questions that generally create confusion in their minds. The news
College teachers protest against salary deduction
Islamabad: Teaching staff of Islamabad Model College for Boys, F-10/3, on Monday boycotted in protest against the principal who deducted their 12-day salary. The staff of the evening shift along with a number of students staged a two-hour protest and a sit-in on college premises against Principal Chaudhary Hamid. However, they ended the protest when the principal assured them that the matter would be solved in a few days. According to sources, 12 staff members were given Rs 5000 in place of Rs 8000 for the month of April as their 12-day salary was deducted. They complained but the principal told them to take it or leave the college, they said.
The sources said IMCB declared its annual result on March 31 and thereafter the college remained closed till April 12 on account of official holidays as per routine. "Never has it happened that the salary is deducted for these holidays. But this time the principal told staff members about the slashing of their salary that was against rules and regulations," the sources said. The faculty staff and students raised slogans against the principal and boycotted classes from 2:30pm to 4:30pm. Sensing the situation, Principal Chaudhary Hamid and administrative staff negotiated with the teaching staff and assured them of provision of full salary. The sources said after settlement of the matter, no academic activity took place and students went home. Chaudhary Hamid confirmed the incident but refused to comment on the issue. Daily times
Szabist donates computers to SOS Village
Islamabad: Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science & Technology (Szabist) donated computer systems to SOS Children's Village here Monday, says a press release. According to details, Szabist Islamabad has donated 40 monitors and 18 computers with complete accessories for the orphans and abandoned children living in SOS Village, a non-profit organisation. Students of BS-Social Sciences at Szabist Islamabad visited the SOS Village along with faculty members and handed over the computer systems to the SOS staff. Meanwhile, Szabist organised a blood camp for thalassemia patients, wherein students generously donated blood for this noble cause. The news