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THE TEACHER AS A NATION BUILDER

  Source the Writing Collection of Dowell Ighohwo Oba, Nigeria

The teacher can be rightly called a nation builder. Teachers through their perseverance, love and sacrifices has shown us the right path in which great men and women have built our nation. It is our dear teachers who mould our character, our personality and show us the right direction which leads us to our final destination.

Flourishing national development and a society truly prosperous with knowledge all begins from its teachers. While the role of knowledge and a skilled society with visions and aspirations in the success of a nation cannot be stressed enough, it should also be remembered that knowledge cannot be acquired if it is not sought and received through the help of the teacher. This is why everyone should put efforts into seeking as much knowledge as possible, and appreciate the teacher’s importance in guiding us and the generations to come, to become knowledgeable and morally upright people.

Knowledge received without a teacher’s guidance can be compared to a blind man walking without his stick. Because of this, teachers need to have a high level of commitment towards their duties and responsibilities which have been entrusted to them. The teacher is a judge who gives marks and ratings. He differentiates children on the basis of their intellectual, and often social skills in preparation for the social and occupational roles which they eventually play. He does this by recommending promotions and demotions within the school, norminating children to take certain examinations and counselling children and their parents with regard to appropriate school courses, and employment possibilities.

The teacher is a representative of the society who inculcates moral precepts. In the development of a country, great attention has to be paid to education and learning, as well as good morals, and nobody is more suited to assist in this process than the humble teacher. Without teachers, both knowledge and morals would suffer.

The role of the teacher is a multi-faceted one comprising academic, pedagogical and social roles. Academic roles comprise teaching, counselling and supervisory roles while pedagogical roles include instructional, evaluation and facilitating roles. As a facilitator of learning, the teacher is involved in motivating pupils to learn, maintaining control in the classroom and the school in general, and creating a condusive environment for learning to take place. Social roles of the teacher includes among others socializing roles which is preparing pupils to participate in the way of life of the society; others include reference roles, detective roles, parent surrogate (or substitute parent), confidants and affectionate roles.

No other personality can have an influence more profound than that of a teacher. Students are deeply affected by the teacher’s love and affection, his character, his competence, and his moral commitment. A popular teacher becomes a model for his students. The students try to follow their teacher in his manners, customs, etiquette, style of conversation and his get up. He is their ideal. He can lead them anywhere. During their early education, the students tend to determine their aims in life and their future plans, in consultation with their teachers. Therefore, a corrupt and decadent class of teachers can harm a nation more seriously than a class of corrupt and perverted judiciary, army, police, bureaucracy, politicians or technocrats. A corrupt and incompetent teacher is not only a bad individual, but also the harbinger of a corrupt and incompetent generation. A nation with corrupt teachers is a nation at risk; every coming day announces the advent of its approaching destruction.

Teachers therefore , have to play a cardinal role in the building up of the character of the next generation. It is a fact that a civilization cannot rise out of a skeleton of mere ideas and abstract concepts. Civilization finds a concrete shape in the practical behaviour of a nation, based on these principles and concepts. Once the practical aspect is gone, the civilization also disappears and can only be studied through its remnants preserved in museums and chronicles. This necessitates the provision of a learning atmosphere throbbing with life in our educational institutions through the presence of the teacher, with a view to infuse confidence in our students and to enable them to be proud of their culture, to respect their national character and national emblems, and to ornament themselves with societal conduct and morals. They should stand firm on the centuries old foundations of their cultural tradition and at the same time should establish standards of excellence in their academic performance.

The essence of the teacher as a nation builder cannot be over-emphasized. Good teachers need to be themselves constantly seeking knowledge, be of good character, have high motivation and be creative, innovative and effective in their teaching strategies. The good deeds of teachers are great; because of them, we will grow to become knowledgeable people who will be of use to society, religion and our nation and country.


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