Teachers, in all ages, have indeed been the true crisis managers and future makers who inspire young minds to fare forward, win against adversaries, and strive for excellence. They develop in their students a passion for learning and provide them the necessary skills to navigate their way through life. I have been humbled to see how many teachers in the village schools, earning barely enough to stave off hunger, keep doing that, day after day, without any concern for their own wellbeing. They are the future makers because they easily become role models who inspire change.
Teachers’ role as crisis managers has become all the more vital in the time of the new coronavirus pandemic. Along with other frontline workers, teachers everywhere are fighting the novel coronavirus, particularly its educational and social impacts. They have been actively engaging students in fighting loneliness and boredom and become active learners. Even in the virtual domain, teachers have connected with their students and instilled in them a positive mindset to excel. In Bangladesh, where Internet connectivity is much less than ideal, teachers have used whatever resources available to them to help their students fill up the gaps in their education, and keep their focus on learning.
Despite their dedication, passion, and care, and the exemplary way they are coping with the pressures of online teaching during the pandemic, teachers here are deprived of good remuneration and decent living conditions. If these are indications of the social position of teachers, then they are clearly placed at a disadvantage. It is important that teachers are respected, and their needs are taken care of if we expect them to deliver their best.