Tuesday, May 23, 2006

The Legend of a teacher: Prof. Fazlul Karim

Today, the concept of a good teacher has changed. With minor exceptions we do not consider a teacher to be a good one by judging his class performances, rather we, especially school and college students judge a teacher with his suggestions, his Model test questions and above all - how accurate are his suggestion for exam. Many teachers are extremely reluctant about their Classes and are much more interested in private coaching. But as a matter of fact the respect for a teacher is directly proportional to his sincerity and hard labour. In fact we should judge how good a teacher is, by measuring his or her honesty, integrity and commitment to the profession. These should be the yardsticks of popularity. The popularity of a teacher among the students should not be judged only during the students' educational period, but rather should be judged all throughout one's life in the long run.

There are teachers who could hypnotize the students with their amazing power of teaching and incomparable personality and could win the hearts of the students forever. Such a renowned teacher is former Vice Principal of the Comilla Victoria College Late Professor Fazlul Karim who is my beloved grand father.

Professor Fazlul Karim was born in Comilla on 14th February 1911. His first school was Banga Bidyalaya, which was beside his house in Mugaltuly. He studied up to Class VI in Banga Bidyalaya. Then he studied in Comilla Zilla School and passed his Matriculation exam in 1930 in 1st Division under Calcutta University. He passed the Intermediate exam in 1932 from Comilla Victoria College in 1st Division under Calcutta University. He studied in Dhaka University from 1932 to 1937. He did B.A. (Hons.) in Economics in 1935. His MA was due in 1936. But he dropped for one year as he got married in 1936. He completed his M.A. in Economics in 1937. His subsidiary was English and Arabic. His favourite subject was English.

In those days Muslim qualified teachers were very few and in Comilla Victoria College, there was none. When Fazlul Karim wanted to join the College, the Governing body was not willing to take him. As they were reluctant to accept him as a teacher in the College they told him that they did not need a teacher of Economics, but needed a teacher of Political science. Fazlul Karim took their challenge and he joined Comilla Victoria College as a teacher of Political Science on 5th August 1938. Although he was a graduate of Economics, he was able to teach Political Science without difficulties. At that time he was the first Muslim professor of Comilla Victoria College. His happiest incident of life was being the Professor of Victoria College as he wanted to teach and serve his nation. As a teacher he was always sincere, dutiful, honest and strongly committed to his job. His morale was HONESTY. His ideal person of life was Hazrat Mohammed(SM). He used to tell me that he had also seen him(SM) once in his dreams.

One might ask what is my point to say winning the students heart forever? I met many of his students always asking my mother his well-beings. Professor Razia Khatun, A renowned professor of Dhaka University once told me some quotations, which my grand father told her in her first class in the college 40 years ago. I wonder how could any teacher influence a student so much that after forty years his student is quoting his lessons word for word. One of his ex-students Mr. Kamrul Islam said that he could exactly recall the way my Grand Father used to teach. He could also easily quote some quotations of Prof. Fazlul Karim after a long time. A retired Judge of Supreme Court was regretting that many of today's campus violence would not occur if teachers like Professor Karim were in teaching profession. I think it just needs some thing special to win a students heart forever.

I think a teacher's job is to teach. His sphere of teaching can be as wide as the universe. He should not just be confined within the boundary of his academic syllabus. He can also bless the students with lessons of ethics and noble thinking. He can teach the students how to leave a better life in the society, how to make the world a better place. A student would then listen to him spell bound. Prof. Fazlul Karim was a great educator of that kind. One of his quotations in his class lectures proves that. He said, "Every right has a corresponding duty, you can not enjoy the rights without duty." He taught his students the noble lesson of fellow feeling, duty, responsibility and honesty.

As a teacher, Prof. Fazlul Karim not only instructed his students; but also inspired them. He left the permanent stamp of his outstanding and amusing personality on their moral character. He died on the 21st of April 2002 in the National Heart Foundation Hospital. It was the conclusion of a legend But however, the teachings, ideals, ethics, principles, values are not yet concluded. To change our blemished educational system into an ideal one, we need ideal teachers. And for that the teachings of Prof. Fazlul Karim can be regarded as the North Star.


Today, the concept of a good teacher has changed. With minor exceptions we do not consider a teacher to be a good one by judging his class performances, rather we, especially school and college students judge a teacher with his suggestions, his Model test questions and above all - how accurate are his suggestion for exam. Many teachers are extremely reluctant about their Classes and are much more interested in private coaching. But as a matter of fact the respect for a teacher is directly proportional to his sincerity and hard labour. In fact we should judge how good a teacher is, by measuring his or her honesty, integrity and commitment to the profession. These should be the yardsticks of popularity. The popularity of a teacher among the students should not be judged only during the students' educational period, but rather should be judged all throughout one's life in the long run.

There are teachers who could hypnotize the students with their amazing power of teaching and incomparable personality and could win the hearts of the students forever. Such a renowned teacher is former Vice Principal of the Comilla Victoria College Late Professor Fazlul Karim who is my beloved grand father.

Professor Fazlul Karim was born in Comilla on 14th February 1911. His first school was Banga Bidyalaya, which was beside his house in Mugaltuly. He studied up to Class VI in Banga Bidyalaya. Then he studied in Comilla Zilla School and passed his Matriculation exam in 1930 in 1st Division under Calcutta University. He passed the Intermediate exam in 1932 from Comilla Victoria College in 1st Division under Calcutta University. He studied in Dhaka University from 1932 to 1937. He did B.A. (Hons.) in Economics in 1935. His MA was due in 1936. But he dropped for one year as he got married in 1936. He completed his M.A. in Economics in 1937. His subsidiary was English and Arabic. His favourite subject was English.

In those days Muslim qualified teachers were very few and in Comilla Victoria College, there was none. When Fazlul Karim wanted to join the College, the Governing body was not willing to take him. As they were reluctant to accept him as a teacher in the College they told him that they did not need a teacher of Economics, but needed a teacher of Political science. Fazlul Karim took their challenge and he joined Comilla Victoria College as a teacher of Political Science on 5th August 1938. Although he was a graduate of Economics, he was able to teach Political Science without difficulties. At that time he was the first Muslim professor of Comilla Victoria College. His happiest incident of life was being the Professor of Victoria College as he wanted to teach and serve his nation. As a teacher he was always sincere, dutiful, honest and strongly committed to his job. His morale was HONESTY. His ideal person of life was Hazrat Mohammed(SM). He used to tell me that he had also seen him(SM) once in his dreams.

One might ask what is my point to say winning the students heart forever? I met many of his students always asking my mother his well-beings. Professor Razia Khatun, A renowned professor of Dhaka University once told me some quotations, which my grand father told her in her first class in the college 40 years ago. I wonder how could any teacher influence a student so much that after forty years his student is quoting his lessons word for word. One of his ex-students Mr. Kamrul Islam said that he could exactly recall the way my Grand Father used to teach. He could also easily quote some quotations of Prof. Fazlul Karim after a long time. A retired Judge of Supreme Court was regretting that many of today's campus violence would not occur if teachers like Professor Karim were in teaching profession. I think it just needs some thing special to win a students heart forever.

I think a teacher's job is to teach. His sphere of teaching can be as wide as the universe. He should not just be confined within the boundary of his academic syllabus. He can also bless the students with lessons of ethics and noble thinking. He can teach the students how to leave a better life in the society, how to make the world a better place. A student would then listen to him spell bound. Prof. Fazlul Karim was a great educator of that kind. One of his quotations in his class lectures proves that. He said, "Every right has a corresponding duty, you can not enjoy the rights without duty." He taught his students the noble lesson of fellow feeling, duty, responsibility and honesty.

As a teacher, Prof. Fazlul Karim not only instructed his students; but also inspired them. He left the permanent stamp of his outstanding and amusing personality on their moral character. He died on the 21st of April 2002 in the National Heart Foundation Hospital. It was the conclusion of a legend But however, the teachings, ideals, ethics, principles, values are not yet concluded. To change our blemished educational system into an ideal one, we need ideal teachers. And for that the teachings of Prof. Fazlul Karim can be regarded as the North Star.