We often talk about the duties and responsibilities of students, but never do we discuss the roles and responsibilities of teachers. Why this? Perhaps it's a social taboo. However, education is the backbone of a nation and teachers are responsible for disseminating knowledge, undoubtedly they are the architects of a nation. Development of a nation largely relies on the education system of a country, whereas the quality education can be provided by the good teachers.
Sometimes teachers are called second parents. They not only teach textbooks but also ethics, ideals, righteousness and patriotism. The obligations of teachers are numerous and varied in nature. Their contribution to the advancement of education, culture, and society, in particular, has been enormous. It's a sorrowful matter, lately, teachers who will teach ethics and values have squandered their morals to an extreme extent.
We have seen various occurrences which have been done by teachers. Such as, sexual harassment of female and male students in school, college, university and madrasah, question leaking of admission test and public exams, coaching and tuition business etc. Who doesn't know the violent rape incident of "Porimol Joydhor, a teacher of Viqarunnisa School, who raped a class X student?" Teachers are the master craftsmen who built a nation, while now they have turned into a tool of nation destruction.
However, the responsibilities of teachers cannot be restricted to the institutional level. They also have multi-faceted responsibilities at the society and the state. Duties and responsibilities of teachers can be divided in three board categories. Firstly, Professional Duties and Responsibilities. Then, as a social reformer and finally, a social role model.
The first and foremost job of teachers is to teach students properly on a regular basis. They will make the students able to understand the academic lessons. It is the professional responsibility of the teachers to bring the development of students through this. How to bring development?
Development could be measured through the evaluation process. This process might include a traditional exam system, home work, instant test or something interesting which would be liked by all students such as, study tour, sports. Through the evaluation process, a teacher could be able to know the strengths and shortcomings of a student.
Teachers will have to ensure equality, integration and fairness in dealing with all students, there should not be any disparity. Furthermore, they must perform the assigned responsibility timely and in accordance with institutional policy. Not only will a teacher allocate his knowledge towards students, but he should take care of them also. For instance, what is the physical condition of a student? Is the student suffering any psychological pressure? Moreover, if the academic performance of a student isn't good enough, then students should be asked why the result is bad. He needs to find out the reasons behind this kind of result. A teacher is indeed responsible for this.
It goes without saying that we have been observing an opposite view- teachers are discouraging and insulting students for their low academic performance. This sort of insult can destroy the life of a student. I have seen plenty of incidents in my personal life, let me share a short story: "A student had low performance in his first year of university life, he didn't know what the problem was. Probably never was he asked by any teachers why his performance was not up to the mark.
He was depressed for his poor academic performance and as a friend of mine I knew from him about his English fears and weaknesses. Consequently, he could not make a good academic result.
A great teacher is also an excellent social reformer. Through his teachings, he helps to eliminate intolerance, and superstition that exist in society. Inspired by his ideals, today's students will become the leaders of the society and reform the society. For instance, the eradication of ignorance through free education programs and different campaigns as well as raising the environmental consciousness among the populace. Thus, it can be asserted that the ideal teacher has a significant responsibility as a social reformer.
Teachers are the influential conscious representatives of a society. It is the moral duty of an ideal teacher to establish discipline in the society, to lead in social activities, to create an organized attitude and to provide guidance where necessary. For instance, resolving social conflicts, determining what to do to prevent crime, and participating in overall development activities. A teacher can make a social club which will work for establishing a drug free society. A Teacher should be the one who will be the role model for the students and for the society either through their words, manners, life flow.
Above all, an ideal teacher will possess qualities that will make him unique from other professions through the fulfillment of his responsibilities and role. He must fulfill professional values and attitudes where he will be responsible for his profession and honesty. He will be patient, humble and possess a positive sense of life. He will not be annoyed with the students but will listen to them patiently and give necessary help. Furthermore, he might spread a positive attitude towards students.
Indeed, teachers show the right path of a nation. As a teacher, social reformer and role model, they have numerous crucial roles and must have to play those accurately. As Anatole France says, "nine tenths of education is encouragement". This quote underlines the importance of encouragement in education. Hence, a friendly teacher would show respect to all students by asking and listening to their opinions and appreciate them. In these issues, teachers need to be trained for how to behave, react and interact with students. All teachers have an idea about the psychological issues of the students. And for this they should be also trained in psychology.
Md Obaidullah is a Research Assistant, Centre for Advanced Social Research, Dhaka