My teaching career started from a simple in-home class when I was around 16-years old in 1986. As one of the few individuals in the community who could read and write, I took on the role of teacher by teaching my two brothers, a sister and some village kids.

Since then, I have found that teaching is also a way to explore myself, my world, and to help my students define themselves as engaged human beings. There has been an encouraging demand from the community and I have found it highly appealing and meaningful.

Aziz Royesh standing in front of a classroom

Learning is a human need, like food and water

In order to ensure that people value education as much as I do, I have found that the best method is to translate education as an important item in the list of everyday needs. I have shared this idea through two simple sentences in my communications with the poor and disadvantaged:

  1. You have a hungry belly and brain: share your single piece of bread to nourish both.
  2. Education is a need, but no one will come to answer it for you. And even if they come, it may be too late. Don’t miss the time!
  3. As a teacher, I help people review their resources, however small, to better manage what they possess.

People do need to trust in you, your words and your patterns of behaviors first. Then you embark on journey which becomes self-motivating. Education should not be regarded as an extra burden. It should be an inner companion for the students. People should look at education as light to open their way forward.

Civic education empowers

In my definition “civic education” is simply “civic awareness”. It’s a process of discovering and utilizing one’s inner power as a human being. It’s a way to get connected to what human beings have done and achieved to facilitate their life conditions throughout history.

All discussions on human rights, civil rights, citizenship rights and democratic participation fall under this subject.

Helping girls go to school

One of Aziz Royesh's students in Afghanistan. Credit: Varkey Foundation

I want to make sure that as many girls as possible attend school and learn. In Afghanistan, it’s sometimes not easy.

First, I encourage their parents to support their schooling as a key to their education and self-awareness. We hold regular talks and sessions with the girls’ family members.

Then, I provide them with a sense of confidence and trust through civic education programs and other extracurricular activities such as attending music class, art class, social clubs, vocational trainings, etc.

I find sponsors for their tuition fees and other educational expenses whenever they face  pressure due to their family economic situation. We have a charity box at the school, which is mainly dedicated to supporting girls in higher grades who face such difficulties.

Finally, I provide girl students with job or scholarship opportunities to encourage them to continue their education.

 

Source