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Bizarre World

As you’ve probably gathered by now, I feel strongly about education.  My students doing well means a lot to me. I’m constantly looking for ways and means to increase their performance and achieve their potential.  I’ve found that some things work with some students some of the time, but nothing is permanent and achievements constantly need to be monitored and built on.

Seeing the policies adopted in other countries and cultures is always a useful insight. However, sometimes they are just too bizarre. What do you make of these two –

  • In the Uk, parents are jailed if their young ones consistently play truant. Scenario – difficult teen refuses to attend an institution that clearly makes him/her unhappy, that’s not doing anything for his/her self-esteem, and bringing out the worst in him/her. The penalty is to take away the key person(s) in the child’s life and lock them up for a month. Result – already having difficulty relating to adult figures in school, the child now is deprived of their primary carer and has no adult figure in their lives. If they are from a one-parent family, what happens to them while the parent is in jail? The parent risks losing their job because of the incarceration, and acquires a social stigma they could do without.
  • Even more bizarre is the scenario in Tanzania. According to this BBC report, primary school teachers who were late for class, or didn’t show up for work, or didn’t teach the official syllabus were in serious trouble if their charges under-performed. The penalty – the teachers were caned by a police officer in front of their pupils. How completely, totally and utterly inhumane and bizarre. What message is that sending easily-swayed children?

The world is indeed a strange dangerous place.