Our schools: Where to? [Archives:2008/1210/Opinion]

November 24 2008

By: Dr. Suad Al-Sabaa
Schools were established to educate consecutive generations and eradicate illiteracy in society. What the consequence would look like if we named one of our schools as “Primary Illiteracy Promotion School” instead of “Primary Education School”. This terminology came to my mind when I met a mother complaining of the failure of her child while attending a primary school.

The mother appeared to be ready to sell all her jewelries and buy marks for her child to pass certain subjects, in which he failed to score even a pass mark after having their exams in order for neighbors' children not to scorn or mock him. Her child still is in the third grade of primary school.

The woman insists to make her child illiterate with her money. And, I suspect that the project of “Making Children Illiterate with Money” has begun to receive support from some parents, who are unaware about their behavior's effects on the future of their children throughout the various grades of schooling.

Such a destructive project gets promoted among ill-conscience people, who practice trade at the expense of our children's future, either by giving them a chance to cheat inside the exam halls or by accepting bribes and helping failed students to pass to higher grades at primary schools.

We turned to have a new paradigm under the name of “Private and Public Illiteracy Promotion Schools”, which are highly blessed and praised by some parents. In addition, guilty-conscience educators, who possess nothing from the meaning of education except for their jobs, grants false legitimacy to plans and policies followed by these schools.

I don't suspect that we will be wrong if we give such a terminology to some schools where officials intentionally and unintentionally follow the kind of practices that destroys a student's personality and skills instead of building them. Had we all searched for such schools, we would have been obliged to remove many banners hung on their gates, particularly if we heard tales from our children that actually reflect what takes place at these schools.

How do teachers behave inside classrooms?

I found a schoolgirl crying because she understands nothing of the chemistry lessons at her school. Having asked her about what her teacher is doing inside the classroom, the girl replied, “She only comes and reads the lesson from her notebook, and at the same time reprimands one girl and slams another. She always gets upset with the schoolgirls and tells them about her personal problems until the school bell rings for her to go out.

Having asked the schoolgirl whether inspectors visit her school, she responded, “We get prepared for any questions to be raised by the inspector by giving the chance to girls with good access to remedial lessons to convince the visiting inspectors as we fear negative reactions on the part of the teacher.

When I asked her whether officials visit her school, she answered, “Even during visits by senior officials, the school administration deliberates to organize the school from various aspects to receive them because the administration usually knows in advance about the appointments of such visits. The teachers dictate to us what we should say or write to these officials during their visit in order for the school and staff to look good, however in fact, it is faked appearance with no relation with what takes place on the ground. Does not the above-cited terminology apply to this school?

If I am authorized to do anything in this regard, I will have two types of banners for schools, the first is: “Primary and Secondary Education Schools” while the second is “Primary and Secondary Illiteracy Promotion Schools”. Having realized that a particular school is doing the job well, I will raise the first banner, but the second banner when I see otherwise.

Source: Al-Tagheer.com