Tue | Mar 28, 2023

Education under siege

Published:Monday | April 12, 2010 | 12:00 AM


THE EDUCATION sector is under siege. Some of our schools, if not all, are now battlefields for teachers and students with persistent war between forces within and without. The paralysis of the education system is due to the terminal disease of moral decadence that is eating away at the heart of our society.

The rights of the students are touted in all quarters and no one is even pausing to ask what are the rights of teachers. The human rights activists, as well as the educational spin doctors are forgetting that with every right there comes a responsibility. I am going to propose that those who advocate for the rights of the children put together the responsibilities of those rights. I did not know that I would live to witness the degeneration of the classrooms into an intractable nightmare. Parents and their children are running wild in some of these schools, while the poor teachers and principals watch helplessly. A return to the good old days in teaching is nothing but an elusive wish.

Reasons for problems

The myriad problems that bedevil the education system can be attributed to the following:

The infiltration of an imported culture;

The increase in the number of young parents;

Lack of clear and coherent policy governing the operation of schools;

The lack of sanctions for delinquent parents and children;

The mediocre behaviour and performance by members of the teaching fraternity.

The lack of concrete support for teachers by the policymakers

dysfunctional homes affecting studies

I am mature enough in teaching to be able to say without fear of contradiction that the mentality of the children is shaped at home, and the overall breakdown in discipline and family life is wreaking havoc in the school and the wider society. Because of this social problem, the education of these children is severely hampered and the leadership of the school is compromised. There can be amelioration among the students if the government applies stringent measures to repair the breaches done by irresponsible parents. One such measure that could be contemplated is a mandatory sentence for fathers who have abandoned their children and families.

Teachers are saddled with a difficult task in instilling good values to a set of students whose background determines the way they behave. Law and order are ignored in this country too much because of a lack of teeth in them. It takes people with guts of steel to run an institution now, as well as imparting knowledge to students who are indisciplined and parents who are uncooperative. In the face of all this, I am calling on educators throughout the length and breadth of Jamaica to join forces and protest against any move to leave the teachers powerless in the classrooms. This madness must stop now!

I am, etc.,