President Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto called upon the teaching community to remain in the vanguard to make Pakistan strong and prosperous.
Addressing over 1,500 Peshawar University teachers and heads of educational institutions from all over the North West Frontier Province on the lawns of the Governor’s House, he said he expected them to encourage the new generation in intellectual curiosity and rightful thinking.
The President said he considered investment in education as the highest priority and said his Government was determined to provide all necessary facilities to students and teachers in the educational institutions. “I assure you that I am fully aware of your problems and difficulties,” he told the teachers.
The President said the Government would give the teachers their rightful status in society because they were “true builders of the nation.” Calling the teachers the “most highly educated and best qualified group” in the community, he said while this entitled them to certain privileges, it also put on their shoulders “very heavy and onerous responsibilities.”
The President urged the teachers to make the students realize that in order to equip themselves fully for their future careers, they must work hard and concentrate their full attention on the acquisition of knowledge.
It was in the schools, colleges and universities that the habit of hard work can be inculcated. “No country can or ever will become prosperous become prosperous without hard work.”
President Bhutto said that his Government was opening the door to every one to have equal opportunities of learning and “it is for you to show them that the way demands honest work.”
“I so not mean by this that you should attempt to curb their enthusiasm, to mould them into identical patterns, to turn them into dim bookworms repeating ideas without testing them. They are individuals and that unique and precious quality must never be forgotten. They must experiment, try out new ideas, under you stimulous and live a full and significant existence in their student days.”
The President emphasized the role of teachers in developing the country and putting it on the road to progress and prosperity and they formed a link in the chain.
“You have the youth of the country entrusted to you---a precious trust---for this is the most critical and sensitive period of their lives, and your repondibilty is not only to give them formal education, but to teach them how tolive and how to work for your dear homeland Pakistan and build a land which will match the aspirations of its founders---secure, united and ideologically sound.
This, according to the President, could be best done through the teachers’ own example. “I am stressing this because the age of adolescence is the age of hero-worship, even in this era when the youth of the world are suffering from great tensions and there is a tendency to react violently against the established order, there is still the desire for an ideal to follow and in most cases students are influenced consciously or subconsciously for good or ill by their teachers.