Pedagogy of teachers in Pakistan: By Muhammad Saeed Akhtar
"Courtesy to The TopStory Online"

It [teaching] is a task that requires that those who commit themselves to teaching develop a certain love not only for others but also of the very process implied in teaching. It is impossible to teach without courage to love, without courage to try a thousand times before giving up. It is impossible to teach without forged, invented, and well—thought—out capacity to love. Paulo Freire

In its glitzy days The Progressive Writers’ Movement, with its emphasis on humanism inspired people to raise questions about the decadent moral values, the values which distort the reality, curb the spirit of inquiry and lull people with the adage “God is in His Heaven, all is right with the world.” Inspired by Marxism the movement introduced a secular narrative in the society and literary magazine; Adbe Latif, Sawera and Naqoosh were the vogue of the day.

The discourse was to observe the surroundings skeptically not, of course, with the biased and borrowed views. The contributors believed to ‘shock’ the reader, stirring him off the prized believes, to awake him from his ‘opiate state of mind’. Not an easy task. The pulpit resisted and Minto faced the trial with the allegations of corrupting the youth. But people were adamant to corrupt the youth as to them the youth was the asset to dismantle the façade of the strong but distorted moral values. The motto was to change the narrative. If you look back in the decades of 50’s and 60’s you find Pakistan flourishing culturally and the writers, poets and artists were the celebrity.

The Movement’s locale was the educational institutions and teachers and the taught both were enthralled by the new spirit of inquiry. In the beginning we have legendry teachers; Prof. Krar Hussian, Prof.Siraj-ud-Din and Prof. Dr. Imdad Hussain. They were dedicated and honest people with all the courage to love their profession. I met Prof. Imadad Hussain on 31st of December 1983 in a New Year Party at Bahawalpur. In those days he was contributing really gem of articles in daily Muslim. The Muslim was an emblem of courage and freedom in those days and Mushaid Hussain (before his metamorphoses) was the youngest Editor in the history of journalism of Pakistan.

When I joined college it was the first year of the rule of Zia-ul-Haq. Jamat-e- Islami was pampered and its political wing in the colleges (teachers & srudents both) was assigned a task to be vigilant of the faculty which to them was ‘inimical’ to the youth. Prof. Jabir Ali Syed( great name in the literary criticism) would come in the college with a new book in his hand. It would attract the attention of many students. I dared to approach him once to see the book he was holding that day. It was the collected work of Pablo Neruda. “Do you know anything about him?” He inquired. “No sir” “He is a great poet of Chili and has been awarded with the Nobel Prize.” From that day on Neruda is always with me.

Prof. Rashid-uz-Zaman( Nirvar-the critique of Marxism fame) Prof.Ali Arshad Mir, many more who suffered in Zia era and a few of them were imprisoned in the Shahi Qila Lahore also. The door was shut to the spirit of inquiry; people were discouraged to read western literature even some of the students were expelled for reading and discussing the modern writers. The mosque again replaced the library. A great distortion was included in the text books to make the student a true Murde Momun.

A couple of days back when sitting with my colleagues, I was surprised to hear senior faculty talking of some Maulana who was to come in that vicinity. All were excited to listen to his speech. Unfortunately (yes), I had a book Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire I got scared as one of them said sarcastically, “God knows why people read may be they want to tell us that they are great scholars.” That’s all about our education system. Ye such hai jub nadi (brook) apni rwani choor deti hai/ tu us ke saaz key tarron ko fitrut torr deti hai ( the truth is when brook forgets its flow then Nature breaks the strings of its musical instruments.) Sorry for my poor translation.Just to give you the glimpse of the our glorious learning culture

Check this video out — Conversations with History: Khaled Ahmed