- My dream of an ideal College.
To dream is a very pleasant exercise of fancy. It is good to do this because it widens our interest and hopes about our future. It also makes us more serious and responsible in outlook. We must free: ourselves from the cramping limitations of the present and look into the future. We must also glance at the past for the same purpose. We must nor shut ourselve always in the present, Life becomes boring when we live always in the present. It becomes exciting and hopeful when we begin to imagine future possibilities.
There is of course a danger in dreaming. It may make us neglect the present. It may make us only dream and do nothing else. This must be avoided. Dreams should inspire us to action. They should be creative agents, driving us to effort and achievement. If we avoid this danger of only dreaming and doing else, our dreams become active forces for good.
It is not always possible to realise our dreams. But when we i are asked to drearn, we should welcome the event and proceed accordingly. With luck, even our wildest dream become realities. So at any rate, let me hope and dream.
The first thing that strikes me in this matter is the task of preparing myself for the job of a principal. It is no use being a principal if I am not worthy of this post. We should not become principals for the sake of being principals. Principlaship is a very arduous job, full of responsibilities. So I must develop my personality. I must have a healthy body and a healthy mind. I must become a person who inspires young people. The ideal principal is one who does this. He must be able to put idcals before young people. He must be a good teacher, an efficient administrator and a wise counsellor. He must know the art of ruling men. He must know how to develop an institution. He must be just and kind and firm. He must deal considerately with his subordinates, his colleagues, and his pupils. It is not at all an easy job. But it is possible to cultivate the qualities of leadership with guarantee success in the job. If I qualify myself in these matter of administration, I think I may accept a principalship.
Suppose I do become the principal of a college, what shall I do? It is a big question, but let me try to see what I shall do. First and foremost, I shall make my college a model of discipline and order. I believe that discipline is the basis of all good institutions, without order and discipline, nothing good can be done. I see today, that indiscipline has set in everywhere. I read reports of students going on strikes for all sorts of demands. Most of these demands are silly things. But when they are reasonable. I shall certainly try my very best to meet them. However, the best way of maintaining discipline is to take the parents and guardians into confidence. My first duty as a principal will therefore, be to invite these good souls. for discussion, I shall request them to take a keen interest in the growth of their wards. I shall let them know that unless they co-operate with teachers, their wards will come to no good. I shall tell them that all the money spent in educating their wards will be wasted if they do not teach their children to behave properly. Real discipline begins at home, and unless parents’ co-operate in this matter there can be no progress. Parents must make their wards know that if they do not make good progress in their studies, they stopped from going to college and be put to work for their living.
I believe that college education is not a luxury, which it is often supposed to be. I believe that if this idea is firmly planted in the minds of youths, they will not be so irresponsible as they usually are. Youths must realise that they are being given a special privilege when they are sent for higher education. We must make them know that they will not be permitted to waste their opportunity. I believe that if we tell this fact to our youths, they will become serious in their outlook of life. This is the most important step I will take in order to bring discipline in my college.
I do not believe in force and punishment. I am not an : upholder of the old system of holding up a rod when a young man.. goes wrong. I believe in persuasion. I have faith in the goodness of youths. I believe that if we explain things to them, they will listen to reason. I hold that the teacher is a spiritual parent of youths. Believing thus, I will strive to make them reasonable.
Next, I shall insist upon making physical exercise compulsory for every student. Exercise must be taken on the college campus. There will be no exemption from this. Youths havë surplus of blood and energy. If this vitality is not properly used, it will lead to all sorts of indiscipline. I will see to it that every student spends one full hour of sixty minutes in taking some exercise or other. This period will be divided into two parts. Each student will have to fulfil this demand on his physical energy. The drill classes will form part of physical exercise.
Thirdly I will organize-extra-curricular activities. I believe that youths learn as much outside the classes as inside them. Indeed, they might very well learn outside. At any rate, I shall see to it that every student takes part in these activities. I shall introduce debating societies, dramatic clubs, walking trips and social service camps. These will be put under the direction of teachers who are interested in such . programmes. I place great emphasis on social service camps. My reason for this is that such activities will free youths from undesirable political activities.
This reminds me of the danger of politics entering into academic institutions. I know that politics is the root cause of indiscipline in schools and colleges. I do not say anything against politics as a study and as a technique of getting things done. But I very much dislike politics as a game for winning power and prestige. Young men think they can become great leaders if they organise processions and shout slogans. I will stop these things by directing their energies into constructive activities. I will set up study circles for discussing political issues. But more important for me is actual, creative work by my pupils. For this purpose I will start social service camps conducted during vacations. My students will visit villages and stay with the poor people and teach them lessons in hygiene, sanitation and cleanliness. This sort of work will give them practical leadership.
Then there is the question of the hostel and its management. I wish to make the college hostel a model organisation. What do I mean by this? I mean that the hostel will not remain a hotel. Most hostels are little more than hotels, where young people get their board and lodging. This is not at all good. I believe that young people should not be suddenly uprooted from their homes and put into hotel like hostels. To me an ideal hostel should be a big home with a family atmosphere about it, I mean that the wardens should be made to treat the wards as their own children. I mean that students in the hostel should not imagine that they are free to spoil their lives by irregular habits of eating, drinking, bathing and sleeping My duty as a Chief Warden will be to turn the hostel into a healthy home. I will see to it that the kitchens and dining rooms are kept very neat and clean. I will see that only good and healthy cooks are employed to prepare food. I will employ good cooks and tell them that they will be dismissed if my pupils lose weight. I will keep a strict record of the health of each of my pupils. I will see that students in the college hostels will feel that they are living in their own homes. The wardens will be instructed to see their wards regularly and observe their progress from month to month. This is very essential because nothing makes students irresponsible as a feeling that they are no longer at home under the care of their parents.
And now I turn my attention to the staff. I have to deal with several people employed in my college. These include teachers on the one hand and peons on the other. My attitude towards my colleagues will be kindly, polite but firm. I am a very hard task-master. I do not spare anyone because I do not spare myself. I know that I have to deal with some teachers who may be better qualified than myself. Indeed some few of them are really so in every college. It is chance and luck that make one a head of an institution. This is the law of life, and I will not forget this. So I will be extremely considerate not to hurt the feelings of my subordinates. I will treat them as a friend on terms of equality. If there are insubordinate colleagues I will handle them justly and firmly. I only hope I shall not meet such people. But I am ready for any crisis and I shall deal firmly with all cases of insubordination. I. shall take my colleagues into confidence and I will see that every teacher gets his promotion and privileges. It shall be my greatest pleasure to see that every teacher is happy and contented. Only such people can put their heart and soul in their work. I shall make them feel that ours is a common task of educating our young wards in the best possible manner.
As for peons and servants and cooks, I shall be very strict and very stern outwardly. I will see that they keep the premises neat and clean. I will see that they are regular in their duties. I shall have no nonsense about workers, unions in my college. But I will be just and merciful towards them. I know their pitiable poverty but I will not let myself be ruled by them. Duty is duty, whether it is that of principal or of the poorest peon. If duty is done, I shall certainly interest myself in their prospects and promotions. I shall open a night class for teaching the servants. I shall engage poor students to take up this duty.
And now about myself, I suppose I am the principal of a private college. There are several such colleges in Pakistan, and they are a problem for their principals. A principal in such a college is not his own master. There are trustees and managing boards and other people who appoint a principal. I suppose I shall be so appointed. How shall I deal with my superiors in power? For there is no doubt that these people are the most powerful people in the management of the college. I shall have to be very wise and very careful not to displease them. Some of these powerful people are good and harmless. They love to rule over teachers and principals. They themselves are not very well educated. In fact some of them are illiterate. But they have money, influence and so they get elected to the Board of Management. I suppose I shall have to flatter and praise them. I do not mind doing this if it helps me to get more and more funds from them. I am not one of those who feel ashamed or angry in flattering such people. I am sure I lose nothing if I flatter them. I am sure I shall be definitely gaining something by flattering them. If I think that flattering brings good funds for my college, I do not at all bother about my prestige. My one and only object with these people will be to get money voted for the development of the Institution. And so I will not stand on my honour or prestige so long as I get funds.
But if these people begin to interfere in the day-to-day work of the College, if they think that they can influence me in getting some incompetent teacher appointed, I shall not permit this. I will not let them interfere with my duties. I suppose I know what is good for my college. I shall be firm in my right as a Principal to shape the work of the college. I know that some people will want to poke their nose ini the examinations, admissions and results of the college. I will never permit any such nonsense. I will do nothing that will lower the standards of education as I conceive them. If they persist, I will resign.
And this is what I will do if I become the Principal of a College. So ends my dream. I do hope that I will get an opportunity of becoming a Principal because I have many ideas which I cannot put, into practice unless I get some power and authority. I will prepare myself for this job most thoroughly. In any case no one can prevent me from dreaming that. I am the principal of a college. I have described in this essay what I will do in such a dream.