My college life, if not entirely but mostly has been full of insults. And I’m sure, I am not alone in all this. At least my friends have had a fair amount of share as I have. Insults have become so customary that they don’t matter anymore. Like any other subject, it is part of the curriculum that students don’t take seriously. But the iron-man that you see today was once a sensitive person who would get hurt if shouted upon especially in front of others. That is why the first year is the most difficult year for a student. With a huge syllabus and repetitive exams, one yell from the HOD can shatter confidence and make you feel worthless. And I’ve seen students fall apart only because of the rude response they received, every time they tried to improve.
I have been asking myself, what makes them behave like this? Haven’t our teachers lived the same life we are living? Then why don’t they understand? Is it all on purpose? If it is, how does it help us? It is not a personal choice, our teachers are trapped in a culture of abuse
This is how psychology works. There is a high chance of a criminal being born in a family with a criminal background. Abusive husbands often have abusive fathers. Human beings are influenced by culture and customs. Our actions depict our surroundings. This is how the world works and our professors are no exception to this. Unfortunately in colleges, a culture of no appreciation has evolved over the years, and this is because nobody knows everything about anything in a professional course. Our professors also know that they are vulnerable at a certain point and they won’t like it if anyone touches that string. From a first-year student to the head of the department, everyone is a learner and feels the sense of competition. This is the only reason students get sacked during the oral examinations. The examiner does not check the knowledge, instead, he compares his with ours. This conventional practice has led to a culture of abuse. Our teachers don’t have a choice because the definition of a teacher they know is the one who knows more and can’t accept anything at their level or even near it. So unless a student doesn’t stop answering, his/her viva cannot end. That stoppage is the defining line between our teachers and us. And the extra scold we get is their prize money. Only to make them feel that they are in charge. That the appreciation they couldn’t get should pass on. That we should feel the same helplessness and the dependence they felt. It is a tradition that is being passed on. A tradition in which teachers consider their students as competition.
This culture needs amendments. We have just started a long journey in a particular subject. And it is so absurd to expect or compare with someone who has been studying the same stuff for the past 20 years. Of course, students need a stimulus to remind — why they started but this can be done constructively. A word of appreciation is far better than the humiliation that a teacher thinks is good for his student. This mindset has to change and better sense has to prevail. We are future teachers and professors. We have to abolish such a harsh system of abuse. No matter what happens to us and how we get treated. Let us promise that future generations won’t experience what we had to go through.
Samiullah is a Medical Student.