How Vindictive Teachers At Kinnaird College Ruin Students’ Academic Career
Aqsa Abbasi shares how she was mistreated by one of her teachers at Kinnaird College who threatened to give her an F and ruin her academic result out of personal vendetta.
It was a bright sunny day when I first stepped into Kinnaird College as an undergraduate student. Prior to my admission, I had heard all sorts of rumours about the prestigious girls college – one of them being about its students being too ‘bold’. Notice that ‘bold’ here means women who do not conform to the society’s standards of a ‘good’ woman.
But what I encountered after joining the college as a regular student was totally different from what I had heard. Contrary to my expectations, the college did not hold concerts or musical events that often. In fact, we would only have one concert a year – and that too in a restricted environment where a dress code was followed and girls were asked not to wear sleeveless or ‘short dresses’ – even at all-girls parties! I remember being issued a warning once for my choice of clothes.
To top it all, (adult!) girls (event those in their final years) could not even get out of the college before 12 PM. Meaning that if a student only had a single class at 8 in the morning, they could not just take that class and leave the college. They would have to wait till 12PM before they could leave the college – even if they had nothing to do on the campus. It was a total waste of time that we could have used to do something productive.
During my second semester, I got associated with an NGO as a volunteer and would go to the office every day after getting free from my classes.
There were some exceptionally brilliant teachers at Kinnaird who encouraged me to be my better self – but the good ones were outnumbered by the vindictive teachers who had little to do with the students’ well-being and would not even treat them as adults. One such teacher made me lose my hope in this country’s education system.
I won’t name her because the purpose of this article is not to settle scores, but to let the readers know as to how some individuals are dishonest with their profession. That lecturer of mine would always cancel her classes at the last minute. Last minute cancellations meant that we were already in the college and had to stay back till 12 PM even if we came only for that morning class.
This one time, I was unwell but there was an important quiz in the said teacher’s 8 AM class so I chose to go to the college anyway, despite knowing that I would have to stay in the college till 12 PM in that condition. But the teacher, as usual, cancelled the class at the last minute. The students were already inside the college so they couldn’t leave. I went to the gate and spoke to the guards about my illness and requested them to let me go since my class got cancelled and I was too unwell to wait till 12 PM.
They asked me to talk to the Dean and seek her approval. I went to her and respectfully asked her to allow me to go home early because my class got cancelled. She asked as to which teacher cancelled the class, to which I named the teacher. The dean summoned that teacher to her room and asked her why she had cancelled the class. The teacher blatantly denied having cancelled the class and said she did come to the class and gave the students an activity to do after which she asked them to take a break until the completion of the activity. I was shell-shocked. Nothing of that sort had happened. The students had only gotten a last-minute text from the Class Representative that the class won’t take place. I looked at her in disbelief. How could a teacher, who is supposed to be a student’s role model, lie with a straight face?
The dean scolded me for ‘accusing’ the teacher and told me that the class was not cancelled so I had no reason to leave the college. I did not tell the dean that the teacher was lying. I left the matter to God.
A few hours later, I ran into the said teacher in the corridor where she looked at me angrily, stopped and said: “You will get an F in the next two semesters.” I was once again in a state of disbelief. How could she have the audacity to first lie and then punish me for unintentionally exposing her? Since she was going to teach me for the next three semesters and her threat could ruin my grades and overall transcript, I apologise to her the next day – even though she should have been the one apologising.
I was not strong enough to take a stand, but I have heard stories of my friends being punished with a bad grade for not tolerating such unprofessionalism from the teachers.