Give The Teacher Back His Respect

By KAUMA Frank

I once was involved in social media debate in a bid to establish a merit list for the many disciplines that are studied today. This debate drew the attention of many comrades from all corners of this campus pursuing various courses. It was a hard battle trying to pin a discipline on the top of the rank. Political science students in the house lead by Otieno Sikuri, Gitungo Wa Wamere and Governor Joel challenged the floor by the common Aristotelian view that ‘Man is naturally a political being’. By this, it was in their view that political studies must form the cradle of any knowledge. Again, the linguists and those established in semantics, represented by Ustadh Fred Midega, also claimed that any meaning of knowledge must root from the use of language. These, among many other contributors, had every kind of explanations and responses inclined towards the support of their own disciplines. As I watched the debate from a distance I felt that someone must have been gravely ignored, The Teacher.

I jumped into the floor with a very controversial view that changed, to a larger extent, the direction of the debate. My argument was; ‘For any discipline to exist, there must be knowledge about it. This knowledge must form the foremost pedestal of any study. Well, then for this knowledge to be shared from the source to any platform, someone must tell (teach) it to someone. The dissemination of this knowledge is less concerned of the title under which it is presented, whether political, literal, scientific, religious, and economic or any other major or minor discipline. Therefore, from knowledge, the teacher must come in for it to be. By this, I concluded that either Teaching or The Teacher must be graded on the top of the list!’ Ok, not many would subscribe to this fair and clear argument, then I went ahead to make a general conclusion that everyone is a teacher, whether learned or illiterate. Even the Engineer is a teacher!

Ok, I am a disturbed man when the issue of respect to a teacher is brought to surface. When did the teacher lose his nobility that served him bountiful respect? Unlike the times of Martin Luther the German, Jesus Christ of the Bible and Socrates of the Greek, who could preach knowledge to a multitude that revered them almost to the degree of gods, today, the teacher is like a crofter that walks loaded with bundles of contempt from their own people. Since when did Teaching become a discipline for the failures? When did we (irrespective of our disciplines) start disregarding the noble hands of the teachers who nurtured us from our childhood inabilities? Who can claim independence in his/her knowledge so far and outright despise the contribution of a teacher in any sphere of his development? Clearly, the conception that a teacher in this contemporary society is less influential and desperate for peoples’ attention is farfetched. We need the teacher today than yesterday.

But again, I have always believed that when respect is snatched away from you, it’s never wise to claim it back forcibly or much more like a totalitarian would prefer, but it is wise to earn it back honorably. I think it’s time teachers became teachers, we must feel our own discipline for us to be respected. We must earn back our respect or else knowledge will soon perish.

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