Tribute to a dedicated Teacher of District Thatta/Sujawal on the eve of Teachers Day
By Ashfaque Soomro
Today, I pay my humble tribute to Sain Ghulam Mustafa Palijo, a celebrated teacher of our home town Darro, district Sujawal/Thatta. Sain Ghulam Mustafa is truly a translation of an American writer William Arthur Ward’s famous quotation that a good teacher is not who tells but the one who demonstrates with his actions. Through effective communication, listening skills, friendly attitude, patience, work ethics, discipline skills, creating student friendly teaching environment, respectful attitude were his strengths and skills that transformed the lives of thousands of students hailing from unprivileged rural areas and vulnerable families. Teaching was his passion.
Sain Ghulam Mustafa devoted his life for the cause of educating children. He still regards teaching above all the occupations, as he believes quality education is only a tool through which societies get developed. For that matter, a teacher needs not only to be sincere with teaching but well learned too in order to construct the future of the nation.
Born in January 1940 in a very poor family of village Faeer Ahmed Palijo, near Darro town. Hailing from a marginalized family, his father was just three classes passed from a Madrasah, who rented out his piece of land to bear education expenses of his son and sent him to Primary School of Darro. He entered into this profession in early 1960 as teacher at Sir Abdullah Haroon Higher Secondary School Karachi, where eminent poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz was the principal. During this job, his mother left this world for a heavenly home, but he could not participate in her funeral processions, as he couldn’t get the timely information. At that time communication was not as it is today. It took several days to communicate telegraphically to the receiver.
Because of his character many families of our home town, even typical families with strict ‘Parda system’ used to send their girls to get tuition from him.
He had all the qualities of a good teacher that made him upright among his contemporaries during his teachership. Yet, he lives in the hearts of not only his students, but he cherishes the dignity in the area, though he has been leading his retired life in Hyderabad since the year 2000. He retired from service in August 1993.
Being a development professional working in the field of education and rural development, I have closely looked at the quality of education and teachers today in many parts of Sindh, where ‘Time pass’ culture supersedes the future stake of the nation. Dedication, dignity, being skilled, learning and service seems words of another world we are not known to. How pathetic and alarming a situation we are going through!. We stand nowhere.
Saeen Ghulam Mustafa Palijo has been an inspiration to thousands of students, including me, whom he taught as an English teacher during secondary schooling in 90’s. Taking cudgels up, teachers like Sain Ghulam Mustafa Palijo can only cure the disease our education system is passing through.