Ahmed Saya: I am an O and A level Mathematics and Accounting teacher. I am currently associated with several A-level schools and colleges as a teaching faculty member and a counselor. Moreover, I am Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Reveal Pakistan, which is Career Guidance and the Psychometric testing company that helps students identify their strengths, weaknesses, inclinations, interests and hence ideal career path. Furthermore, I am also a trainer and a motivational speaker (I don’t know if I am actually able to motivate anyone or not) and conduct sessions at different platforms for students. In short, I have dedicated my life to teaching and help groom students to become better students and preferably better human beings.
Times of Youth: Who inspired you to take up this profession?
Ahmed Saya: Sorry, but for me, teaching is not a profession, it’s a PASSION! Surrounded by students who love and respect you is an inspiration itself. When you know you have the responsibility of guiding and helping the youth, who are future of the nation, it is enough of a motivation to work dedicatedly and endlessly.
Times of Youth: If not this, what else would you have taken up as your 2nd career of choice and why?
Ahmed Saya: I don’t know what would have been my 2nd career choice. Since I am a qualified Chartered Accountant, and also have done masters in Human Resource Management along with Accounting and Finance, I might have worked for some multi-national. But honestly, nothing is as motivating and enjoyable and pleasurable as teaching.
Times of Youth: Do tell us how has your experience has been in your current field so far.
Ahmed Saya: Teaching is something that makes me feel like the king of the world. Alhamdulillah, Allah has been exceptionally kind to me and has given me everything more than I deserve or could have even imagined. Every day is better than the previous and every achievement is better than the last. Teaching is very fulfilling, satisfying and I am bestowed with countless blessings. I can’t thank Allah enough for everything.
Times of Youth: On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate yourself as a teacher, honestly?
Ahmed Saya: Honestly I want to rate myself 10/10 but self-praise is not good. You should be asking this question to my students as they will be a better judge of how good or bad a teacher I am. In order to ensure I am always on my toes and I keep improving, plus I don’t become complacent, I would give myself 6 or may be 7 points out of 10.
Times of Youth: What is/are the most challenging aspect/s of your career?
Ahmed Saya: Ensuring that each and every individual sitting in my class ends up with the best possible grade! Sometimes wish I was a magician and anyone who is part of my class would get the highest possible score. But unfortunately and realistically that’s not possible. Still, I try motivating the students that they have to bring the best possible grades anyhow!
Times of Youth: What kind of a student were you in your schooling years?
Ahmed Saya: I was a good student with extremely good results. I was well liked by teachers and peers. By the way, studying becomes fun when you start obtaining good marks. So I loved studying only because I was good at it.
Times of Youth: Who according to you is an ideal student? Have you ever come across any?
Ahmed Saya: An ideal student is one, who is not only academically good but is also responsible, well mannered, knows his priorities well, is street smart, ethical, possesses good moral behavior, is well groomed, has a broad but clear vision and is focused to achieve his goals. In short, an ideal student has to be an all-rounder. Yes, I have come across many such students.
Times of Youth: Comment on the rational value of today’s educational syllabus system. As per your observations, what else should be included/deleted and why?
Ahmed Saya: Unfortunately today’s educational system has many flaws. Education has become a competition where grades matter more than knowledge, where ideas besides curriculum have zero value. Students are judged on their answer scripts rather than on their abilities. And I am equally responsible for all these flaws because I am not bringing any change despite being part of this system. I am adopting tactics where students can excel by bringing good grades, but once again I am not giving importance to areas other than grades which are equally important.
Times of Youth: Which Guinness world record would you like to set?
Ahmed Saya: I want 100% literacy rate in my country. Equal opportunities for every individual, whether rich or poor, boy or girl, living in an urban or rural area. But it’s easier said than done. And I think all teachers feel the same way. Everyone wants the society to be literate and educated.
Times of Youth: Who/what is your ideal?
Ahmed Saya: All those people who work hard, who are self-made people, who work selflessly and who are working for the betterment of the society without promoting any kind of bias are my ideal. All Peshawar incident victims are my ideal. They have a special place in my heart.
Times of Youth: Which current personalities do you believe are the most influential in today’s times, especially for the current younger generation?
Ahmed Saya: In today’s time, media is one of the greatest influencers, be it electronic media or social media. And personalities associated with this medium are hence the change agents, especially for the mindset of the current younger generation. Therefore, I advise all students not to believe everything they read or see, instead they should research if something is of their interest, get authentic information, try to find the right sources and then believe it.
Times of Youth: Please comment on how you would like to bring a practical and rational change in the condition of the world using your skills.
Ahmed Saya: I believe in leading by example. I tell students not to take any day off, and I do the same. I tell them that by not working a day, they are moving one step back. I tell them when I am ill, I don’t take a day off and I expect them to do the same, and when they will enter practical world and will be in a responsible position e.g. as a doctor or a teacher or any other profession, they also cannot take a day off because they owe it to me. Being a teacher, it’s my responsibility not only to teach students the syllabus but also to make them better human beings. I am also responsible for their character building. And it is my responsibility to make them better in all aspects than they were yesterday.
Times of Youth: What message would you like to give to the youth of today?
Ahmed Saya: You are the future of this country, the country really needs you. Be responsible, be dedicated and most importantly, be honest – honest to yourself and to those around you. There is no legacy as rich as honesty. Stop being materialistic, stop being greedy. Get rid of the hatred in you. Always be kind and generous. Selflessly love everyone around you, you will start feeling good about yourself and world will become a better place to live in. Every time you do something, listen to the inner voice, if it stops you, STOP!! If you feel content doing it, GO Ahead! You will always find out whether you are doing something right or wrong by just listening to that inner voice; it is your guide to success and your guardian angel.