Reflection by a Retired School Teacher Mr. Edmund Zar-Zar Bargblor

In African
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Teachers are always needed to create a strong nation that will compete with other nations. We are in need for those teachers because without teachers, we would be nowhere. Keep in mind that teachers are the main factor in creating a well-educated nation.” Yousif Aziz

Mankind, down through the ages has come the need for knowledge and more knowledge. Around us, everything is changing and nothing seems permanent and fixed. The mountains crumble away, the rivers dry up in the Sahara Desert, and cease to flow, islands sink and new seas are formed. The great oaks, in all their majesty must succumb to transition, to change, or death. Man goes on his way and crosses the borderline into the unknown and seems to end his existence in the twinkling of an eye. Is there any part of man, therefore, or any part of nature, that is immortal, unchanging permanent and conditional? Still, there was always the quest for knowledge and the desire for answers to problems unsolved. Why are we here? Who are we? Whence have we come? And where do we go? Is this personality of ours, this individuality which we strive to build up through idealism and the elimination of undesirable traits, merely a temporary or imaginary creation of our minds?

As a school teacher, one is blessed to touch so many lives, to help to shape the views of individual students and to awaken in them the need to be of service to humanity, irrespective of race or national origin. The Teaching process is both physical and a spiritual process, it is one of the professions that gravitate continuously on the Spiritual Realm…Great teachers radiant their spiritual energies to their students, in order to awaken in them the quest for knowledge, knowledge that will transform and improve the conditions of mankind. Teachers in most societies are often looked down upon, disrespected, perceived as failures, especially in the area of material possessions. But yet, no society can survive without the help of teachers, from primary, elementary, high school and university, teachers stand at the threads hold of knowledge. They are the rejected pillows of society, most teachers died in poverty, irrespective of their contributions in society. In Africa it is even pathetic, from village schools to city schools, thousand of teachers continue to be ignored by political leaders, most often for political expediency, they are used as scapegoats for societal problems.
To those Africans reading this reflection, whenever you visit your villages or towns in Africa, visit a school and say ‘hi’ to a school teacher (or teachers), give him/her a gift, as a token of gratitude for his/her contributions to society.

Let me leave you with an article written by Yousif Aziz, a young journalist.
“Teachers are always needed in society no matter what the situation is. They are an essential part of this society and this nation in general. They are necessary and play an important part in our lives.
From the period that your parents decide to send you to pre-school to higher studies such as doctorate and work, you have and will be accompanied by a teacher or a professor. They are part of our lives. Teachers have a significant impact on students. For the most part, it is usually a positive impact; however, on rare occasions you do see those who have negative influence on students.

Many people in our society do not value teachers as they should. They don’t give them credit for what they are doing. In fact, some people are opposed to the concept of having more teachers in the future. Their excuse is based on teachers’ performance. Many say that we have enough teachers and we do not need to hire anymore, which I strongly disagree with. The more teachers we have, the better society we are. Teachers are a major factor in terms of building an educated nation. They are the reason behind our advanced hierarchy. We should support those concepts that welcome all types of thoughts and strategies that will enhance this nation. It is an honor to be in a nation that is taught by skilled and sincere teachers who give so much to educate our generation.
Think about all the trouble they have to deal with, all the hardship they face, all of the obstacles that block their way, and all the sweat and work they put into providing students with information that will create a better educated nation. Think of the way they try to explain an issue to you or a problem that you couldn’t figure out by yourself.

Think of the all the ways teachers think of to have you understand the material better. The simplicity of making tough problems seem easier, the social issues and all the things that we need to know. They usually never hesitate to offer help and assistance if you needed it. What is beautiful about what they do is that, not only do they teach you whatever they are required to, but they also provide comfort and support outside the course content. They discuss issues you may have and provide appropriate assistance if needed. They are like a relative that you never think of. If you are really close to them and you share so much, then they are part of your life. You can always talk to him or her about your personal issues. And very often, they are a great help if there is nobody to talk to. Sometimes they are more than just a typical teacher; sometimes you would consider him or her as one of your friends. Teachers are always needed to create a strong nation that will compete with other nations. We are in need for those teachers because without teachers, we would be nowhere. Keep in mind that teachers are the main factor in creating a well-educated nation.”

About the Author: Mr. Edmund Zar-Zar Bargblor is an Educator. He is a graduate of Cuttington University, Liberia; Howard University Washington, D.C, and Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel. He is a former Deputy Managing Director of the National Port Authority of Liberia, NPA. He can be contacted at: [email protected]

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