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Predicament of a govt schoolteacher

Saidul Abrar (Mughlandeh Chitral)

In utter disregard to his parental responsibilities when a father leaves his child to the mercy of a callous society, it not only moulds him on its own negative standards but also distorts the very name his parents gave him at his birth. 

The talented flamboyant but restless Mutiullah thus turned into an amusing character, Mathulee for the villagers. Minor mishaps in the village like harms to the villagers’ properties and pet animals were always attributed to Mathulee because he had once acted as an accomplice to a notorious thief in stealing the hens of a villager. They nicknamed him Mathulee derogatively. He was treated callously as fatherless children are treated. They used and abused him at will.  His helpless mother could do nothing when his father, the main support of the family, turned blatantly indifferent regarding the holistic well-being of his children.

His primary schoolteacher unable to cope with his delinquent behaviors, when gave him corporal punishment, he went straight to the police station in order to register a complaint against him. It was because of an elder’s interference that an FIR could not be lodged.   

Mathulee received severe canning from his father who thought to absolve himself of his fatherly responsibility by beating him twice a week. This chastisement had turned him thick faced and thick skinned. His contumacious misconduct worsened as he grew up. At times, his daredevil acts showed his ingenuity and creativity leaving the villagers dumbfounded. His cleverly contrived acts of theft perplexed the victims who found themselves at a loss to understand the seemingly impossible act of stealing. His affectees often reported to his father who after seeking their apology  would use his futile remedy of corporal punishment.

Mathulee spent his days as such and at times received beatings from the villagers but as a whole his behavior was taken for granted. When gathered some muscular power, he was paid for carrying the loads of people from the shops to their houses. He received petty gains out of his services and gained people’s appreciation and a sort of somewhat acceptability.

Mathulee abstained himself from stealing and spent the money on the fulfillment of his childish needs. Misguided and ill-guarded, he addicted himself to smoking. Now he was at the threshold of adolescence. After expulsions and re admissions, he was dragged to class nine through promotions by his school teachers. In class nine, on account of his perpetual breach of school rules, he was discharged once again by his class teacher asking him not to appear in the school without the company of his father. After a weak, a veiled woman entered the principal’s office introducing herself to be mother of Mathulee.

The class teacher was called in the office. He enumerated Mathuee’s violations of school disciplinary codes to be regular absenteeism, perpetual truancy, quarreling with the class fellows, rudeness to the teachers and above all marring the educational environment of the school. The teacher asked why his father did come instead. His mother said I have six children, four daughters, two sons. My husband is a taxi driver. He leaves the house at dawn and returns after dusk. When I tell him the problems related to his children, in fury, he turns everything topsy-turvy saying his job is to earn a living for the family.

In order to avoid the beatings, I refrain from telling him about his children. Ustaz Hai, my husband values none except his taxi car. For God’s sake, on my guarantee, give my son one more chance and take the blessings of a helpless mother. The school master looked helplessly at the principal and the bewildered principal rubbed his forehead and whisperingly asked the class teacher to admit Mathulee once again.

The teacher went to the classroom recollecting the annual goals set collaboratively in the last school meeting in which quality and maintenance of discipline at any cost was the main objective of the new session. He was asking  himself ” Without the support of the parents and students themselves ,will it be possible to achieve the set objectives ? Can a teacher or a school make for the shortcomings related to the home environment, parents  and social environment of the students?

Setting aside disappointing thoughts, he said to himself,” I will do my level  best to make a difference in the lives of my students  disregarding the barriers in my way. With a resolve , he enters the class and starts the lesson.

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