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`Teachers can promote culture of dialogue`

By Our Staff Reporter 2018-10-31
ISLAMABAD: Teachers can help foster social harmony in the country by promoting a culture of dialogue, entailing two-way interactions aimed at learning from each other.

Starting off, teachers should equip themselves with the dialogue-enhancing skills and knowledge, before they pass on to others.

These thoughts came in a two-day dialogue with college teachers, on `Role of Teachers in Social Harmony` organised by Pak Institute for Peace Studies (PIPS), an Islamabad-based think-tanlc Around 40 teachers from different parts of northern Punjab attended the dialogue, which was attended by leading scholars, educationists, and opinion makers, says a press release issued here on Tuesday.

Educationist A.H. Nayyar commended teachers for critically looking at one`s society, but added that one of the ways to raise awareness was to learn about the evolutions of other societies, in different ages and places. Dr Raghib Naeemi, religious scholar, said the statement that `teacher can serve as role model for students` can only come to fruition if he consciously strive for it.

Columnist Khursheed Nadeem said a fundamental problem is whether to have a nation state or a religious state.

Journalist and poet Harris Khalique said that media in Pakistan was diverse, with a single event being angled differently, depending on language, platform, region, among others.

Columns and features are often cautious, and resultantly produce less substance that can incite hatred, he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Khalid Masud, former chairman, Council of Islamic Ideology, wondered why despite many attempts to bring positive behavioural changes, much is yet to be achieved. This, he attributed, to a binary thinking pattern that sees the world in black and white. When it comes to curbing extremism, there is often a mismatch between words and feelings.

Religious scholar Ammar Nasir also spoke on the occasion.