Monday, 14 March 2011

Breaking the girl

In Australia, there is a big push to not push the less fortunate. I was brought up a staunch Labor supporter. Unions are the saviours of the working class and give the rights we now demand at all levels of employment and society.

This is a lucky country. A country where you can do so much or do so little, if you choose.

Immigrants arrive with a great work ethic and a different attitude to education and social responsibility. Where I grew up until the age of 7, education was a privilege and not a right. It was and still is a third world country. Health services are almost non-existent. People go to hospital to die, not to get better. I never drank tap water with fluoride in it until I moved to Darwin and this is telling in my smile. Every year of school is decided not just on a passing mark from the previous year but also on whether your parents can afford a good portion of their yearly wage to pay your school fees. Some families get to the point where they choose the smartest or most likely to succeed child to send on through school.

This is a different world to Australia where teachers are treated with contempt and blamed for discipline problems and the embarrassing literacy rate for a first world country. We even live in a time when it's politically incorrect to discuss which world (first of third) that someone lives in.

There is so much political correctness that a teacher is not allowed to fail a student, even if they fail. The end of semester reports are all worded in a positive light with not a tinge of truth, in case that would hurt.

Parents punch teachers. Students throw chairs at them. Teachers can't even pat a child on the head anymore. They will actually instruct a child to pat themselves on the back for doing well.

I know a male teacher in the ACT who decided that he was sick of being called to deal with axe wielding parents who were disputing custody issues on the school grounds, simply because he was one of two male employees on campus. He is now a fireman because that is a safer and less stressful job. Yes, fighting fires is safer.

Parents pop these children out and are rewarded a big screen TV in family benefits and then ongoing Blu-Ray costs. Children learn nothing at home and are sent to school and instruct the teachers to start teaching them stuff because their parents aren't impressed that they can't read or add or even construct a sentence.

Julia Gillard used to be the federal Education Minister, in the Rudd government. She clearly stated that the biggest priority in schools is the CHILDREN AND PARENTS.

She did not even once support the role of the educator. She pushed a nationwide curriculum on to teachers and took away their release time to make sure they could satisfy all the statistics gathering for the MySchools website. With all this extra work, they were given less time to do it, more meetings to attend and more work to do from home.

If I have to listen to one ore fool say that teachers get 12 weeks of leave and work six hours a day then I will bitch slap them silly.

I know a lot of teachers. They work more than 6 hour days. The do marking, planning; moderation; reporting to every man and his dog; statistics gathering; psychological support to children, parents and other staff; constant learning and reading; study to better their qualifications; and much much more.

These are highly trained professionals with degrees and other qualifications. Like all professionals, they work a lot in their own time to ensure they keep up with their profession and the changing world they work in.

They are educators, nurses, psychologists, prison officers, data entry clerks, surrogate parents, child carers and play a lot of other roles.

For this amazing amount of work, they receive a maximum of $80K (simply as a teacher) a year and little respect from the community and politicians.

Julia Gillard has made this worse. She is a disgrace and should know better as an ex-Education minister. I'm sure parents and kids and battlers are very happy with her but I'm not.

Parents should be teaching their children when they aren't at school. I knew how to read, write and do maths by the time I started pre-school. So did my siblings and my friends, whose parents were educated and valued education. We were immigrants too and education was a privilege. Teachers were well-respected members of society whose sacrifice and lifelong commitment to learning was valued, in those poor nobody third world countries.

People have to take responsibility for a nation of barely literate people who breed without concern for consequences.

I believe in social responsibility. I believe that all people should be educated for free, given health care for free and that poverty should be eradicated like the disease it is. I'm not saying stop helping. I'm saying, give a little credit where it is due. Stop being so horrible to teachers.

If I was a teacher, I'd scream that I don't get paid enough danger money for this job and walk out and do something safe like fighting fires.

1 comment:

Meka said...

Very valid points Mana. Thank you for standing up for teachers. If only parents did the same. A lot of people would say that $80K is a lot for teachers to earn but they forget that a good chunk of that is taken away as taxes and the amount of work that teachers do to earn that is phenomenal.