Thanking our mentors: The deserving few

Published: December 12, 2010

I wonder why we have such a contrast in crediting and blaming someone.

Yesterday, I went to my niece’s report day at her school, where students were presented achievement certificates at a prize distribution ceremony.

From best discipline and best in cleanliness to the most responsible and the most creative – you name it and they had it.

Every time a category was announced, I would hold my breath anticipating an award for the best teacher. Not because I would do the same during the very short time I worked as a teacher, but because I realise the hard work of teachers standing in a row clapping ardently every time their student was called on stage.

Unfortunately, the last student’s name was called out and yet another day ended in what I consider one of the greatest tragedies of our nation where the teachers, instructors, mentors and all those who help us achieve our goals in life are left unacknowledged.

We witnessed the same situation with the coach of our national girls cricket team, who recently returned with shinning gold medals around their necks. The president was kind enough to endow them each with Rs500,000 prize money and the coach with Rs200, 000 only. Yes, only!

Do we not realise that the 11-member team was the making of the coach? Or that the passion with which they played was inculcated by the coach? Then too, he was credited with not even half of what the players received.

On a child’s success people generally label him a genius, yet if the same child fails to meet society’s expectations they say, “Haven’t your parents taught you anything?”

I wonder why we have such a contrast in crediting and blaming someone.

To me, a major reason why people in our society do not take their jobs and responsibilities seriously is the lack of acknowledgement.

If only one extra certificate was printed to award the best teacher, the wayward would be reminded not to let their parents down. And if an equal amount of prize money was given to the girls cricket team coach, if not more, we would be celebrated as a nation that does not forget its history for the present and the future.


Ayesha Hasan

A sub-editor on the Lahore desk of The Express Tribune. She graduated from Kinnaird College with a masters in mass communication and is a Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Fellow of Journalism at DW, Bonn.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.