Times of Youth: How would you describe yourself? Do give us a brief introduction.
Rohail Ahmed: I would like to describe myself as a social, dedicated and a risk-taking human being and as an affable and hard-working teacher. I believe in the power of determination because it has helped me pave my path to the place where I stand now. I am complacent with whatever I have achieved as well as with what I have become. Nonetheless, I believe in never-ending struggle; in reaching the pinnacle of knowledge, particularly of the subject that I teach and so, I believe in the drive to constantly improve my ways; this is what keeps me going.
Rohail Ahmed: It was just the love of Accounting that I have up till now. Well, motivation and encouragement from my parents, to pursue my career as an Accounting teacher had a crucial role to play in this decision. Mainly, however, it was the interest that I had in Accounting that inspired me to take up this profession.
Times of Youth: If not this, what else would you have taken up as your 2nd career of choice and why?
Rohail Ahmed: If not an Accounting teacher, I would have chosen to be an Auditor as my second career choice. Just as I mentioned in the former question, the interest I have always taken in Accounting and the passion I have had to pursue a career in it, would have led me to revolve my career around this field anyhow – whether as a teacher or as a auditor.
Times of Youth: Do tell us how has your experience has been in your current field so far.
Rohail Ahmed: My experience has been splendid and exuberant in my current field as an Accounting teacher. The respect that I receive from all of my students, the prayers and the appreciation that I receive from those who have graduated or from those who pass each test or merely just solve a simple question, is simply invigorating and motivating. Moreover, being engrained and remembered with respect in the minds of those who have graduated from A level and are now in Universities, is a source of ultimate contentment.
Times of Youth: On a scale of 1-10, how would you rate yourself as a teacher, honestly?
Rohail Ahmed: Honestly, I would like to rate myself at 8. This is neither because I over-estimate my ability as a teacher nor because I feel proud or haughty because of my ability, but only because of the one value that helps me receive positive feedback and results from my students, that is: to understand the situations of my students, keeping myself in their shoes, and explaining to them each and every minor detail even more than a dozen times if needed. I think that room for constant revision and improvement is justified at a rate of 8 out of 10.
Times of Youth: What is/are the most challenging aspect/s of your career?
Rohail Ahmed: The most challenging aspect of my career has always been the fear to fail. I define failure as not reaching the expectations of my students. Each student expects something different and has different needs. Some require much individual attention, while others manage to do good on their own with just a little guidance. It’s a tough job to evaluate everyone’s needs and then to strive in order to make them excel at Accounting. Managing my family life with my profession is another challenging aspect of my career. I am always a teacher – 8 AM to 10 PM every day and then on text messages. It is rewarding but I am thankful for the understanding and support that I have of my family in this case.
Times of Youth: What kind of a student were you in your schooling years?
Rohail Ahmed: I would describe myself as a student who deplored going to school every day, but then again there are few people who don’t feel this way. I lived my college life as it is supposed to be lived ideally, and yet managed to score very high grades. So, you might want to describe as a good student with special love for Accounting even then.
Times of Youth: Who according to you is an ideal student? Have you ever come across any?
Rohail Ahmed: According to me, an ideal student is one who works hard, no matter in what subject, in what field. As long as there’s interest and passion in any subject or field, and as long as this interest is pursued by any student with diligence, he/she can be referred to as an ideal student. Although respect for teachers and hard work are the two main characteristics that I find in my students, there’s something special about each one of them.Yes, I have come across an ideal student- Aisha Zia Khan; I must take the time to appreciate her persistence and willingness in her pursuit of learning, surmounting all hardships in her way to success, she has come a long way and I pray for her success in the future as well.
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?
Rohail Ahmed: Today’s educational syllabus system, in my opinion, should include subjects and concepts that broaden the horizons and thinking paradigms of students; that help them grow and not pursue rote learning. Even in numerical subjects, as in Accounting, today’s educational syllabus must incorporate concepts and theoretical aspects of accounting that broaden the thinking paradigm of a student as an Accountant.
Times of Youth: Which Guinness world record would you like to set?
Rohail Ahmed: I suppose that would be of the category, ‘The best, hard-working teacher who also happened to be a very humble friend.’
Times of Youth: Who/what is your ideal?
Rohail Ahmed: My ideal is not one person. My ideals are those who sacrifice and devote their lives for the sake of education; those innocent children who lost their lives in the recent Peshawar attack; those renowned personalities who researched and uncovered knowledge, decoded texts to form meanings. It is because of them that we are who we are; that I am what I am. The lives lost of all the children who were so keen to acquire education, as well as the passion to acquire education in the eyes of those who can not afford it, is all the more motivation to work hard and reach the apex of the subject that I teach.
Times of Youth: Which current personalities do you believe are the most influential in today’s times, especially for current younger generation?
Rohail Ahmed: Not entirely linking the answer to this question with the education received institutionally, but more with the education that makes us civilized human beings, I believe that Abdul Sattar Edhi has always been a figure to look upon with admiration and to restore faith in humanity. He may not teach subjects that earn the younger generation or anyone high paid jobs with perks and benefits from MNCs, but he improves lives, saves lives and respects life. I believe the current younger generation should follow his footsteps by simultaneously managing to redistribute the rewards that they earn and by respecting human beings for their mere existence. Another current personality that I have come across is Maud Chifambe. This girl is in her early teen age and is already enrolled in the University of Zimbabwe on a scholarship. She has defied all hardships: the death of her parents, the poverty and misfortune, and has managed to excel in the field of education. According to Maud, the urge to change her circumstances was what took her further in the field of education. I believe that the current younger generation has a lot to learn from her, although many people do not know about her, she’s a hero from amongst ordinary people.
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.
Rohail Ahmed: I would like to make the world a better place by promoting the need to have education. This could have a multiplier effect: I would encourage my students even if they come up in the upcoming years as my competitor in this profession because they would just be multiplying education by themselves and I see no harm in it. Moreover, I would like to bring a practical and rational change in the world by opening schools and bigger, more specialized institutions of Accounting for people who are genuinely passionate about this subject. I would very much like to redistribute part of my wealth for the betterment of humankind.
Times of Youth: What message would you like to give to the youth of today?
Rohail Ahmed: The youth of today is the future of tomorrow; I am sure the youth already knows this but they need to acknowledge the power that they have. They can shape the world; they can bring revolutionizing change, if not in the world, then in someone’s life. They need to acquire education for its sake – not for grades, not under any pressure, not for high monetary rewards promised by certain occupations, but simply for the sake of acquiring education as passionately and as persistently as possible. I believe that all else just follows this passion.