May 16th, 2017

Teaching, a noble and challenging job

Today, our educators not only are expected to complete the school syllabus and ensure students score well in examinations but to also help solve problems faced by the nation.

THE Holy Prophet Muhammad said, “Seek knowledge and train to be dignified and calm while seeking knowledge, and humble yourselves with those whom you learn from”.

This is among the sayings or ha­dith of the Prophet on the relationship between students and teachers.

This hadith also indicates the elevated position of teachers in Islamic tradition. The role of teachers and education is crucial in preparing a better and developed nation in the future.

The fate of our young people, the future of society and the nation’s prospects depend, in large measure, upon teachers and the education system.

It is teachers and the education system that produce responsible citi­zens who are able to think critically, behave respectfully, act independently, respect diversities, build social cohesion and consequently construct a united nation.

The duties and responsibilities of teachers to impart and cultivate know­­­ledge have never changed, since the beginning of human civilisation. But the situations have changed. Changes in the socio-environment have made teaching among the most challenging professions.

Being an educator for more than 20 years at the tertiary level myself, I find two great challenges teachers are facing: eliminating social ills and building unity of the nation.

In the current decade, and also in the future, teachers are not only expected to complete the school syllabus and ensure students score the highest marks in whatever examinations are specified within the education system and policies, they are also expected to solve problems faced by the nation.

In the same vein, teachers are ex­pected to develop the young to achieve the highest level of huma­nity.

The nation now has moved very rapidly and rigorously towards the digital era. Meanwhile, development in technologies has made the globe become a village.

As a result, the nation is facing challenges due to uncontrolled inform­ation and communication.

This situation has developed new dimensions within society and to some extent, affects social stability which has caused social ills.

Thus, teachers and education are expected to cure the illness by educa­­ting the young to cope and be resi­lient towards changes in technologies, and at the same time, retain their indigenous identity.

In a melting pot society like Malaysia, we inherit diversity. Thus, apart from fulfilling the expectation to cure social ills, teachers are expected to build unity in diversity; to unite the nation by teaching the young to live together.

Teachers are expected to build a nation with a national identity, who respect one another, work in teams, resolve differences in a peaceful and respectful manner and participate in living together peacefully.

Be that as it may, teaching and learning to live together is not easy. In fact, living together is the greatest challenge in the 21st century.

In order to live together, history, geography, languages and civic education are vital. In addition, the na­tion must also be capable of sharing a common language and aspirations.

Living in the world today, we find that traditional institutions such as family, religious institutions and communities, in general, are under threat. This situation has made teachers’ responsibilities more challenging.

Thus, in assisting teachers to fulfil the expectations of society, education policies must be able to attract, recruit, train and support competent, caring, knowledgeable and committed teachers.

Failure to provide teachers with proper assistance and a conducive eco-system means denying a better future generation; it is a breach of human rights.

While we are living in this massive economic, social, technological and political transformation, teachers are to take up new roles. Thus, it is essential that teachers must have integrated knowledge and confidence, and be more resourceful.

Integration of knowledge is important for teachers to not only be able to teach the subject of specialisation but to know, to deliver and to act on general or common subject matter such as patriotism.

As mentioned above, teachers are also expected to be able to raise the sense of unity and to encourage the young to live together.

More than that, teachers must be models of what they advocate: they must themselves continue to learn, and must be provided with opportunities to do so.

It is therefore, the duty of all – the government, parents and society – to together provide a serene eco-system for teachers to carry out the expectations that society has of the profession.

While teachers cannot guarantee every child’s excellent score in examinations, forestall all social ills or unite the nation to the best level expected, teachers are the nation’s central hope, not only to build the nation but to build a better world.

Whatever the challenges teachers are facing, teaching is an amazing vocation.

Happy Teachers Day.

Hidup berpasangan beri ketenangan

MAKHLUK Allah SWT diciptakan berpasang-pasangan seperti firman-Nya yang bermaksud: "Maha Suci Tuhan yang telah menciptakan pasangan semuanya baik daripada apa yang ditumbuhkan oleh bumi dan daripada diri mereka mahupun daripada apa-apa yang mereka tidak ketahui." (Surah Yasin, ayat 36)

Menerusi rancangan Pesona D' Zahra di IKIMfm, Ustaz Muhammad Abdullah al-Amin menerangkan, Allah SWT menjadikan setiap sesuatu di dunia ini berpasang-pasangan supaya saling melengkapi antara satu sama lain.

Kehidupan tidak akan seimbang jika tiada pasangan, contohnya kejadian atom tidak akan stabil jika cas negatif tidak disertakan dengan cas positif. Ia saling memerlukan untuk menstabilkannya.


MANUSIA hidup berpasangan lebih bersemangat beramal ibadah. - Gambar hiasan


Begitu juga dengan manusia, Allah SWT menghadirkan kita di dunia dengan pasangan masing-masing supaya mampu menjadi khalifah di bumi.

Kehidupan berpasangan akan membuahkan ketenangan yang tidak mampu diluahkan dengan kata-kata. Ia membuatkan kita lebih bersemangat untuk bekerja dan beramal ibadah kepada Allah SWT.

Tentu ada falsafah dan hikmah di sebalik Allah SWT menciptakan manusia secara berpasangan.

Antaranya untuk menunjukkan kebesaran, kekuasaan dan keindahan ciptaan-Nya. Jika bumi berbukit sahaja tentulah tidak indah. Perlu ada lembah, sungai, laut, padang pasir, rumput, hutan belantara dan sebagainya.

Bayangkan jika manusia itu lelaki atau perempuan sahaja di atas muka bumi ini, tentulah sunyi dan jemu serta tidak bercambah keturunan manusia.

Suami pelindung isteri, anak

Walaupun manusia dijadikan sama, tetapi perwatakan lelaki yang gagah, tampan dan kuat sesuai untuk menjadi ketua keluarga, sebagai pelindung kepada isteri dan anak.

Perempuan pula memiliki sifat lemah lembut, cantik, menawan, inginkan perlindungan.

Allah SWT berfirman yang bermaksud: "Dan di antara tanda-tanda kekuasaan-Nya ialah Dia menciptakan untukmu isteri-isteri daripada jenismu sendiri, supaya kamu cenderung dan merasa tenteram kepadanya, dan dijadikan-Nya di antaramu rasa kasih dan sayang. Sesungguhnya pada yang demikian itu benar-benar ada tanda bagi kaum yang berfikir." (Surah ar-Rum, ayat 21)

Betapa besarnya hikmah penciptaan lelaki dan perempuan. Ia memperindahkan hidup manusia dengan memberi ketenangan, ketenteraman dan kemesraan di samping menjamin kelangsungan zuriat manusia.

Setiap pasangan harus saling lengkap-melengkapi. Suami isteri ibarat pakaian kepada yang lain, menutup kelemahan serta mencari kekuatan dalam diri masing-masing ke arah positif. Segala kekurangan dan kelemahan pasangan diambil secara positif dan membina.

Disebabkan tidak memahami konsep perkahwinan yang saling melengkapi, sering kali berlaku perceraian dengan alasan 'tiada keserasian' atau 'tiada kesefahaman' lagi.

Saling melengkapi

Konsep saling melengkapi umpama menambah garam ke dalam lauk yang tawar, menambah gula untuk menjadikan air lebih manis.

Setiap manusia tidak sempurna, untuk menjadi pelengkap kepada pasangan perlu memperkukuh serta mempersiapkan diri dengan ilmu rumah tangga meliputi aspek fizikal, kerohanian, minda dan emosi.

Tanggungjawab suami dan isteri telah ditentukan oleh syariat Islam dengan jelas. Maka, hubungan antara suami isteri hendaklah dibina atas landasan keadilan, saling menyayangi serta tidak sesekali melangkaui batasan.

Di samping itu, suami isteri harus memiliki sifat ihsan bagi memastikan ahlinya sentiasa melakukan kebaikan walau di mana kerana setiap makhluk berada di bawah pengawasan Allah SWT.