I REFER to the letter “Paying too high a price for progress” (The Star, Jan 19) in which the writer, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, said we need to “tackle crime from various fronts. In terms of education, schools need to tighten discipline with the help of teachers, parents and the authorities concerned.”
Unfortunately, from my observation, any action taken on students for indiscipline is met by angry parents who demand explanations and sometimes twist facts to their advantage, and the poor teachers have to back down.
Teachers are not out there to challenge students. We are mature and most of us have our own children, thus we should know how to nurture the young ones. Most of us love to teach, and we have been trained to teach and develop the young people entrusted to us.
When parents come down hard on us – school administrators, teachers and the authorities – we tend to stop caring for their children. We don’t want unnecessary trouble and there are 35 to 40 other students who are waiting to be taught.
The teaching environment nowadays affects us mentally and physically. A lot of us are facing health issues but we still go to work every day to teach, touch the lives of our students and with pride watch them do well in life.
When many of us back down to avoid confrontations with parents, their wayward children tend to think they have taught their teacher a lesson. The fact, however, is the parents have lost a chance to discipline their child who would probably grow up with no respect for law and order. These parents may think they are “victorious” but they have actually lost a “guardian” for their child.
By all means, parents should visit teachers from time to time to enquire on the wellbeing and character development of their child. But at the same time, allow us to guide them to be responsible for their actions and face the consequences if they break school rules. Thus, we will have young citizens who would always uphold the rule of law.
Teachers too need to bring a sense of dedication to the job. Dedication is one of the ingredients of professional competency. When good teaching is done in the classroom, the students won’t have time for mischievous deeds.
If we bring dedication to our work, we can rightfully expect the public to fully realise the intrinsic worth of education.
We must be mindful that each generation sets its own background, creates it own values, decides upon a plan of action, and contributes to society accordingly.
Today’s young people are no longer willing to accept an authoritarian style of upbringing. They are not willing to accept a dictatorial attitude from those who are in charge of them.
They want to be guided, not pushed; to be taught, not preached to; and to be permitted to make some decisions for themselves, do some critical thinking and express their own ideas.
Parents need to gently guide their children and allow teachers who care for them to provide further guidance.
A lot of good, decent and successful Malaysians were shaped by good discipline at school.
I salute Malaysian parents who trust teachers to mould their children. Thank you to all.
To me, education is a process of growth and development. Children need the warmth of personal relationships with their teachers and classmates, abundant and rich learning materials and creative teaching and activities to make them flourish in their educational environment.
It is a human impossibility to like all students equally, but it is humanly possible to treat them all with fairness. Parents, allow us as teachers to take a hand, open the mind, touch a heart and shape the future Malaysia.