I’m really glad to see more debates and discussions about teaching, workload and the relationship between parents, teachers and the system. Having ministers speak on behalf of the teachers rather than just the system itself is also desirable. I think it is almost shameful the kind of expectations and issues parents of today are taking up about the education system, and getting upset with schools about.
I am actually not surprised that the coping mechanism of the school for not being able to explain to parents how their kids fell or injured themselves was to deploy teachers for corridor duties. It wasn’t about encouraging more responsibility and caution from students, it was not to empower prefects to write simple incident reports. It was to deploy NIE-trained teachers to perform surveillance.
But before even looking at the way the issue was being addressed, schools need to determine and decide for themselves where are the boundaries of the problem they are trying to solve and their responsibilities to the students. While the minister brought up a more complex issue on parenting, it is clear to me that the principal of the school in question did not know the boundaries of the school’s responsibilities. Perhaps the inability to push-back is due to years of the system pandering to parents. Or politicians just passing on requests and complaints to the civil servants without due regard for what are the critical issues at hand.
Either way, I see this as progress for our leadership at the education ministry.