Wednesday, 12 November 2014
Education without Religion is merely a galvanized corpse.
Dr. A.M. Khan was born in the year 1905 in Trinidad and Tobago. It was a forbidding society in which young Andrew lived. Being the son of indentured immigrants, albeit liberated, helped little to relieve his difficulties. Yet, he propelled into a great scholar and was recognized by the Trinidad and Tobago Government for his excellent work as a teacher and a Head Teacher, and was granted a scholarship to pursue Post Primary methods in the United Kingdom. He achieved success after success with incredible frequency and distinction, so much so that he soared to the very top of his career and achieved all of his goals. He fathered ten children who all excelled in their own careers. Dr. Khan was God -fearing and the type of person who believed in preparation. Readers will be amazed to know what his family found in a desk drawer upon his death.
This is a story from which many lessons can be learnt.
The following is an extract of a sermon which Dr. Andrew Moonir Khan preached in the Marabella Presbyterian Church in Trinidad in 1973:-
" You are indeed fortunate, extremely fortunate I should say, to enjoy the blessing which a benevolent state has bestowed upon you, her children – a free education. To you have been given freely that which great men of the past have obtained only with many sacrifices and much labour. Will you then be “the whining school boy or girl” spoken of by the poet “with his satchel and shining morning face, creeping unwillingly to school?” Or will you be enthusiastically looking forward to attending school with a zest and zeal born out of the knowledge that your entire future depends on your regular and punctual attendance at school, and a program of systematic studies.
Never had life afforded such channels for culture, knowledge, influence, and power, as now. Going to school was never more prevalent in any of the cities of the ancient world as now. The privileged people of the world are relatively few, speaking from a comparative point of view. You students are very lucky to be among the favoured few to be placed in the Garden of God in a manner of speaking. But the Garden of God is not only a place of opportunity but also a place of work and more work.
Even Adam had to work in primitive Eden. He was put in Eden “to dress and keep it.” He was not simply to lie down and laze under the trees and have a good time. You students are there in the Garden of God. I tell you, Eden means work. Kevin Ganga, 1971 Jerningham Gold Medalist and Scholarship winner said, “I worked hard to succeed.” Unless you want to work, success will elude you and you will be a dropout, and you certainly do not wish to be that.
If you make up your mind to work hard at your studies you will have no time to do foolish things to spoil the reputation of your school, because every student has the reputation of his school very much in his hands. Revolution is a twentieth century reality. The question facing us is which revolution. We must choose the revolution that values persons, that talks on basic issues in our society. The Church needs a revolution within itself.
There were no street demonstrations, mass rallies, brick and bottle throwing, fire bombings, and more recently dynamite explosions, when every student had the firm and unshakable conviction that his school was the best school of all. There were no crises in the classroom then.
What is the great aim of education which everyone seems to want so badly? Character formation is the great aim of education. Character is essential to the permanence and prosperity of the State. But character of the moral element is not complete without religion, and Education without religion is merely a galvanized corpse."
Dr. Khan's Memoirs was recently published and is available at Amazon.com
MEMOIRS OF DR. ANDREW M. KHAN