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Failure to model

Published by The Nation on Sun, 13 Oct 2019


By Oyinkan MedubiThere are many students in courses they are not equipped to take either by interest or ability There are also many students who are in tertiary institutions they are not intellectually equipped to sustain but are there because of parental influence and insistence.Once again, it is that time of the year when we celebrate our teachers because, no matter what we do, we must not forget them. They are the pivot of the nation, the fulcrum on which the weight of the nation stays, the shoulders unfailingly carrying the load of our collective will and conscience, the biceps forcing knowledge into our young and the interrogator of the old, valuable question: where in the world can one locate the mind of a Nigerian man'Truly, we can never celebrate our teachers enough because they are everything to their charges and hence to the nation. Say what you will, they have worked assiduously over the past 59+ years to educate you and me, have patiently (though not always) pointed our way skywards, lifted our drooping shoulders and given us the tools of life to expand our mindschisels, hammer, stethoscope, briefcase, wig, chalk and a mind to question everything within and without our grasp intelligently. For example, what is the meaning of existence' How many grains of sand are there on earth' I tell you, teachers are great.In this role, the teacher is supposed to wake up the minds of his/her charges to make them interrogate the multiverses they live in and their very own existence too. Their models take them to high levels of inspiration not common to ordinary men and women. In this task, the teacher is not supposed to see the learner in binary sexes but rather as minds to be nurtured into fullness. Most of my teachers were males who saw me mostly as one mind from which to flush out the unexplainable stupidity they noticed. Honestly, I still dont know if they have succeeded.Sometimes, some teachers flounder in this role as it appears they are doing now, going by the stories in the media; and the nation is flummoxed on account of that. The reports of sexcapades named among some male lectures in our nations tertiary institutions are becoming worrisome, to use the well-worn clich. The media calls the phenomenon sex-for-grades. This happens when the teacher fails in his modelling duty. This is worse than being caught napping in class, and its called failure to model. Today, we are going to address this failure to model in the tertiary institutions.Over the years, the teachers role has expanded for many reasons, the most important of which is the fact that the family roles are thinning out and parental responsibilities are contracting. Many students now find themselves needing answers and the teacher becomes the most viable and available role model to give them, especially when the parental one fails.It is gratifying to note though that many parents are still performing their duties to their children. They know where they are at all times, are interested in their childrens interests, and guide the children towards life enhancing goals. Too many parents, quite unfortunately, have left these duties undone, preferring to chase after money instead. The nation hardly notices the parents failure to model though, but sits up at the teachers failure.The teachers failure to model has attracted many reactions. Many, including the law, have condemned the teachers involved, and rightly so too. Many have blamed the attitude of some females, and rightly so too. However, these blames can hardly scratch the problem. We must go to the source of the matter, which is the society.I listened to the argument that said that the teacher has been given a job to do; and it is his responsibility to do that job, come hell or high water. Even if some girls have taken it into their tiny brains to seduce the male lecturer for grades, he should be strong enough emotionally, mentally, psychologically and physically to resist Lucifer himself should he come as a woman. The only problem I have with that is that Lucifer is so much stronger than us mere mortals. Unless the male lecturer is moulded in the form of an archangel, the ability to resist may not really be trustworthy. So, the theory of inner strength might not really fly, especially when confronted by a determined femme fatale.Did I ever tell you of the day I met a young female student standing in front of a male lecturers office, waiting to go in' I did' Good, I will tell you again. You should have seen her; she was literally dressed to kill; i.e. kill me. Since it was a harmattan season, I told her that the sheer transparency of her dress was killing me with the shivers and I felt cold just looking at her. She was a woman with a purpose, and unfortunately, her free will overrode my objections that day.True, the fellow that lady was going to see that day should have had enough brawn to throw her out of his office and reprimanded her for her brazenness. Yep, in a fairy world where I am grossly rich and do not have to work my fingers to the bone to earn a living. No such world exists. So, sir, relying on a man to always invoke his power of resistance on the female that strips herself in his office is not very realistic. Whats on a mans mind, asked the famous psychologist, Sigmund Freud, I say nothing but dross.True, there is something very dastardly, low, common, and ungentlemanly for a man to take advantage of a little ones desperation to gain admission into university or get good grades. However, I have since learnt two things. One, nothing is ever as it seems. Two, no story is ever one-sided; you must always find the other side of the coin.Anyway, I believe the society has contributed somewhat to this anomaly. To start with, there is not enough censor of the national malaise, which is the parental failure to model. Too many parents actually encourage their children to take short cuts to success. After all, as they say, you can only teach what you know. I think the nation should begin to hold parents to account on their wards.Now, youll ask, what about illiterate parents and their children' It is all the same thing. An illiterate parent can still model for his/her child based on the inner goodness and generosity of spirit engendered in him or her which is transferrable to the child. A concerned parent is a concerned parent. Even an illiterate can inspire his or her child to maximum performance. It is a matter of how much he/she is concerned.Parental failure to model is just as important as teacher failure to model. I believe that parental failure to model is at the heart of children not being properly guided towards the right paths in life. There are many students in courses they are not equipped to take either by interest or ability. They are there because their parents have put them there. And thats another thing. There are also many students who are in tertiary institutions they are not intellectually equipped to sustain but are there because of parental influence and insistence. The pressure to succeed can lead children down all kinds of paths.We are celebrating all our teachers today, but this bit on modelling needed to be said. It is the duty of the teacher to give his or her wards second, third, fourth and all the chances they require in order to succeed. However, the greater modelling needs to come from the parents who must ensure that the child is adequately equipped for life outside the home. Failure to model is a societal thing that needs to be tackled, societally.
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