Teacher Orhan Seyfi Ari’s mark on the History of Education
Teacher and Idealist in
Teaching and Education..
the late Orhan Seyfi Ari
12 Dec 1918 – 17 Dec 1992
Teacher Orhan Seyfi Ari’s teaching, education reforms, this educator’s mark on educational and cultural history, his teaching, idealism, in education cultural reforms made him people’s Teacher of Teachers. Editorial Halkin Sesi, 27 Dec 92: ‘…a luminary to many teachers…’
They named a street after this teacher… They hailed this teacher, his teaching, from Australia, Cyprus, Turkey, England… In poetry they sang of the teacher of teachers…
Teacher Ari’s teaching, school administration, educational leadership and reforms got this teacher invited in even retirement to give cultural and educational talks, view overseas teaching, teachers, schools. A research writer wrote “Such nice things I have heard!” about this teacher, his teaching ~this teacher has left his mark on history of teaching, history of education, reformers -statesmen attended teacher Ari’s funeral, educators, teachers, school children bearing flowers…
Teacher Ari was a country boy; the pupils’ and people’s, ‘teacher of teachers’ (epitaph on his tomb), was born in Lapithiou, Paphos, in the, then colony, of Cyprus and raised with his cleric and teacher father Avni Esq.’s liberal views. His education & training was British: after secondary, high-school, education in Nicosia, he qualifying in school teaching at Teachers Training College, Morphou, the teacher of teachers also studied, and at a college was teaching agriculture, later mostly English, sometimes Greek, and, a scholar versed also in divinity & theology and interested in western & eastern philosophies & reformers, ethics –he wrote socio-political articles in Turkish, was reasonably versed in Arabic and in Latin. With a keen interest in teaching, education, teachers’ continuing professional development through additional educational teaching courses and teachers’ seminars in England and Cyprus -in other disciplines mostly self-educated, well versed in pedagogy & educational philosophy (both western philosophy of education and theories & methods of education, and eastern) attaching importance to self-regulatory and self-improving systemising, practically beneficial as well as cultured and enjoyable teaching inspiring learning -and educational social psychology, teacher Orhan Ari, with highest praise for his teaching, school administration, educational leadership, some intellectual-literary, social influence, from quarters cultural, religious, political, educational, especially on, but not limited to, Turkish Cypriots, has left his mark on history of teaching, history of education, cultural, ethical, social progress of Cyprus. The ‘teacher of teachers’, had been an elementary teacher, secondary school teacher, head teacher, lecturer; was a witty occasional socio-political columnist, in teaching circles and his club a debater on teaching and education, a thinker -in circle of friends mystic, poet. Teacher Ari in spreading literacy, knowledge, light by teaching, education, was a true, courageous, leader to people ~this teacher’s extraordinary motivating skills had made him a choice also of British education authorities in pioneering educational social cultural efforts to advance the population ~he worked with village heads bringing water-roads-electricity, was active in preserving historic buildings, had interest in efforts of religious authorities to establish a cultural and educational basis for literacy teaching and improved education in orphanages -and in youth morality.. and now the young school teacher was debating, convincing, popularising secondary education, getting students, teachers, more and bigger modern schools with science laboratories and journal subscriptions, as well as finding and enabling research on, and collections of, poems and other literary otherwise lost works and to folk interested giving also their first taste of poetry.. when, while now Cyprus has a higher rate of literacy than in the United States and highest percentage of university graduates in the European Union, except for such efforts in their communities, many weren’t even interested in education. Writers have seen teacher Ari as an eminent school.. Institute of Commonwealth Studies –Institute of Advanced Studies –University of London have archived this teacher in their library.. an overseas academic’s condolences are to the entire community of this teacher…
Teacher Ari was popular in both the Turkish and Greek communities during and after teaching at British schools classes composed of, e.g., English, Armenian, but mostly Turkish & Greek Cypriot students ~a Cypriot Greek author’s book refers to the beloved memory of this teacher, a Turkish Cypriot’s poem refers to this teacher as bringer of light to, waker up of, people who buried this teacher in their hearts -continues to inspire teacher Ari and his teaching…
After the island’s independence, while in the course of his community’s adapting to the Turkish system of education he appears to have been officially perhaps less appreciated, upon his peacefully passing away -as a cleric of a couple of years in his retirement to make ends meet, the press having praised his patriotism, the Leader of the Parliament of the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus described him as having made both the state and the nation proud as “A successful modern educator.. who will be, with love and respect, remembered always…”
Acknowledging his wife Suzan Ari (whose own death brought many condolences –including from overseas university teaching staff) as his great helper, teacher Ari had successfully pursued idealism in cultural & school teaching and education with a sense of duty as in his verses:
“Since to mourn and remember us there is someone
That’s what counts -we can assume our duty to’ve done”
After his death a street was named after Orhan Seyfi Ari in the Marmara district of Nicosia, in the Turkish sector, Cyprus.