CIE result day; we have all been there and if asked can still recount the nerve wrecking anxiety in vivid detail. Official CIE results came out a day ago and students awaiting their O-Level and A-Level results were left wondering whether they will be celebrating Jashn-e-Azadi. No, we are not talking about independence day here. Just independence from the stress of awaiting the results themselves. The teachers were as stressed out as their students as they await the results. For many their worth as teachers is also seen in terms of the results their students get. Which is strange, but the reality of how education works in Pakistan. And worldwide for that matter.

In the middle of all this, a teacher had the most heartfelt things to say to his students. And his open message is one that needs to be spread far and wide and heard loud and clear by parents, students, and teachers alike.

Here is what a teacher Umair Qureshi had to say in a post on Facebook: 

For those who were ignored today: Since morning I received many messages from those who scored A and A* in CIE. Only few, receiving B were daring to message me. Since morning I didn’t see any C and D and E. Unconsciously most of the teachers wait for A and A* only for many reasons to celebrate.
I wanted to talk to those who are hiding today, facing taunts by society for no reason except because that day wasn’t their day. Just because those 2 hours in examination hall were not theirs, doesn’t mean they didn’t know the stuff. Standardized tests give a snapshot of your learning not complete album.
I wanted to tell them that; you who couldn’t get a “good” letter on an A-4 size paper sheet, that world does not respect letters. World respects intellect and original thoughts. It took me a decade to understand that being a teacher I am not here to celebrate only “A” grade but every single effort made by my students no matter a little step or a long jump, every single step towards progress matters.
Sadly teachers want to own A only and rest is the fault of kid. Actually there is no fault. Actually everyone progressed, some speedily, some steadily, some with pauses, everyone.
Those who didn’t get an ‘A’ are not inferior, nor their fault. Take it as first lap of the race, emerge as thinker and go for second lap and so on. Lets avoid the culture of competition and promote collaboration. Every single child is important and today everyone did progress. Lets celebrate this success, success for all.
Today I am not tense because someone told me that love all your students no matter they have A or E. and I love you all. We have wonderful memories and that is above everything.

His words resonated with hundreds as the post quickly went viral on social media. And it deserves all the noise it gets because he has captured the essence of a student-teacher relationship, which is one of constant knowledge and learning. A student’s credibility isn’t determined by how he performs in an exam. Moreover, such exams and standardized tests should never be the benchmark of a student’s abilities. Salute to this teacher and every other educator who takes into account individuality when assessing a student. We certainly need more unsung heroes like Mr. Umair Qureshi over here for a truly merit-based 72nd year of Pakistan.

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