Educators in the armed forces
THIS is apropos of the letter ‘Educators in the armed forces’ (Jan 24) by Air Commodore (Rtd) Khayyam Durrani. Although I respect Mr Durrani’s opinion, I would humbly beg to differ with his views of being considered a child of a ‘lesser god’ in PAF’s education branch.
I am a retired PAF officer and have studied as a flight cadet in a couple of premier PAF institutions which produce future officers for almost all the branches of PAF.
Our association with those education branch teachers and their families is still the same. We even invite our beloved teachers to attend weddings of children and parties organised by old boys of our public school/college, where I have seen these teachers being treated as VIPs.
Besides, I personally know many PAF officers who helped those teachers and their children of the yesteryear from time to time for any possible thing within the rules and the ambit of their position.
Moreover, I have been a cadet for more than five years and later on an officer in the PAF. I never heard any of my course mates or senior/junior colleagues naming our very respectable teachers of the education branch as ‘schooli’ or ‘master. Although I have never happened to come across Mr Durrani, during my service, it is my firm opinion that whatever I am today is because of these excellent teachers like Mr Durrani who nurtured and guided us adequately when we left our home to become guardians of the country at a very tender teenage.
Mr Durrani had reached the rank of air commodore (one star) which is very commendable and he must have thoroughly deserved it. It would not have been possible if Mr Durrani had been discriminated or treated unequal as a very few officers reach this high rank even from the PAF’s main branches.
On the other hand, there are many officers of the ‘mainstream’ branches of PAF who, for some reason, couldn’t even reach the rank of group captain (equivalent to colonel) or air commodore (equivalent to brigadier).
But I have never seen/heard them saying that they were considered/treated as children of a lesser god.
BOTH Cdr (Rtd) Khalid Durrani in his letter ‘Never-ending pleasure (Jan 19) and Air Cdre (Rtd) Khayyam Durrani in his letter ‘Educators in the armed forces (Jan 24) have shared experiences of their life, starting from their careers in the armed forces and, finally, landing up in reputable institutions after retirement as teachers. They have both expressed their happiness and satisfaction in their new jobs/roles.
Teaching is indeed a very noble profession and those engaged in this profession enjoy a lot of respect from their students. Capable and outstanding teachers leave a deep and everlasting impact on the minds of their students and are revered by them all their life.
It may come as a surprise but I am still in touch with one of my outstanding teachers who taught me up to primary level some 55 years ago and also with the one who taught me up to matriculation exactly 50 years ago.
The frustration that Air Cdre Khayyam Durrani faced during his service in the PAF as a teacher in the education branch is understandable. He was certainly engaged in this noble profession, but in an institution where the leading role is that of defence of the country.
Unfortunately, teaching in such an institutions takes a secondary role. I am absolutely sure that he must be enjoying respect in the hearts of those whom he taught in the PAF, many of whom may have risen to the ranks of air marshals. I am glad that he is now enjoying his role as a teacher in a reputable institution.
CDR (Rtd) ABDUL