He was a professor at the University of Rome. One afternoon he was returning from the university to home in his car and the road was empty. On his way, he committed a violation of traffic laws and a police officer came and fined him for it. Now, the penalty was to be deposited at any post office, but the payment could not be made. He received a notice from the court for not submitting the fine. Since he had no other option, he went to court. The judge was summoned and he started by stating that the teacher was fined and ordered to pay at the nearest post office, He asked why he was unable to pay? He stated, don’t you feel like you’re wasting the time of the police? He used a foreign card in his defence. The judge said, “You speak well, what do you do?” Then he embarrassingly said that he is a teacher, a professor at the University of Rome. The judge immediately stood up and said, “There is a teacher in the court”. Upon hearing these words, all the people in the court, including the faculty and police officers, stood up. Then the judge’s style changed. The judge ordered to bring a chair apologised and cancelled the invoice. The person was Ashfaq Ahmad. He describes this story in his book Zavia. He said, “On that day I learned the secret that the honour of the nations is the honour of the teacher.”

Let’s look at some examples of other states. Finland is the leading country in education. The total population of the country is 5.53 million, but Finland ranks first in terms of education ranking while America is at number twenty. Any school in Finland has a maximum of 195 children and one teacher for 19 children. The world’s longest break also takes place in Finland’s schools. There are only 20 hours of teaching in a week, while teachers spend two hours per day in improving their skills. Being a teacher in Finland is more difficult and honourable than being a doctor and engineer. There is no school in the country for children before the age of seven and there is no test before the age of 15.

Take the example of Japan where children are taught morality, ethics and manners until the third grade. If a teacher from another country goes to Japan, they get a protocol that is equivalent of that of the Prime Minister. This is the secret of the development and rise of nations.

Pakistan lags behind in every field. Teachers are facing a lot of issues. Election-duty, polio, dengue, census, and other problem require their attention it is their constitutional responsibility, is it just theirs alone?

Teachers also do not get the facilities and privileges that are expected. Are the teacher’s medical expenses free, is the teacher’s children’s education free, is the teacher’s transportation free? After serving for four decades of their life, free treatment is not available and then we said that this nation will become a great nation. No one raises a voice for the teacher’s interest, even the teacher’s union, which brings them on the streets for their own benefit and interest.

This behaviour is extremely regrettable to the teachers who prepare for the coming generations. All countries view teachers with the highest regard but in Pakistan, the status of the teacher is not even saluted. Every time a new government comes, it announces a new system, sometimes Urdu to English medium and sometimes English to Urdu medium, which makes teachers worried and mentally depressed. Science is taught in every class but you will not see a scientist. Terrorists will be born in the country where the killer is given protocol and the teacher presented in court with handcuffs.

Official authorities should provide facilities to the teachers. Their problems should be solved out. At least, the teacher’s privileges should be equal to the Minister.