Do we still need teachers?

In today’s context of the ready availability and access of information, entertainment as well as a generally better educated public, it has often been asked, “What is the role of teaches?” Why do we still need them?

In the past, teachers were the guardian of skills and knowledge that the public did not have, such as reading and writing, and were treated with the utmost respect by society in general. My mother, graduated in the first batch of female teachers from a Maktab Perguruan back in the 60’s, is still called “Cikgu” today, 15 years after her retirement.

Today, teaching is seen as the choice of those who cannot get into other professional courses, which offers them a better job and hence making more money. Teaching is the last resort.

Teaching is really a noble profession. Every one of us, including our nation’s Prime Minister is the product of teaching.

The teacher is the one who molds a child into what he will be on the future. He is being taught how to read and how to write, how to deal with others and how to deal with himself. The knowledge of the teacher is being shared or transferred to the child from science, technology, arts and values. And when the child is ready to pursue for a higher degree of education and specialization, it is still the teacher who is guiding the child for him to attain his dreams and expectations.

No other profession is greater than teaching. Without teacher, there will be no Engineers who will plan, design and manage the construction of buildings, roads, bridges, communication facilities and other infrastructure. Doctors, scientists, politicians, will not exist without the teacher and the teaching process.

As teachers, you are educating future generations, shaping young minds and lives. You are responsible for the welfare and education of the child who will walk into our classroom every day. You have a chance to impact each and every one of them. A teacher’s motivation and encouragement is extremely valuable to a child; it can change the child’s life.

You should be commended for picking a career inspired by passion or love instead of monetary gain. Most people, are not willing to wake up at 6 a.m. each day, get to school by 8 a.m., teach from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. with barely a half-hour to eat lunch, stay another two hours after school to go to meetings or run after school programs, spend three or more hours grading, and then an hour reviewing for the next day; doing all this, while only making a relatively small amount of income.


If you really think about it, a teacher’s job is not much different from a doctor’s or a lawyer’s. All three require technical expertise. All three have their students’; patients’ or clients’ live in their hands. All three are almost always working; when they’re not physically on the job they’re mentally on the job. Thus, it’s only natural all three should be awarded the same respect.

Your reward for doing all of the above, if you believe in heaven and hell, is a place in heaven. Your reward is also in the form of prayers from those who remembered, who is it that made them who they are today.

For al the teachers out there, I hope you keep this to mind and make this your mantra; “My life’s purpose is to touch lives by imparting knowledge and wisdom”. If you remember this purpose, you will be all right.

I wish you all the best.

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