Thursday, August 20, 2009

Education. Who is to blame for lack of commitment?

As I observed a debate in one of my English classes yesterday, an interesting arguement evolved. Are teachers of this day and age as commited as those of the yesteryear?

Most of the young students felt that we the modern day teachers are short changing them in terms of commitment and quality of work, despite our advantage of having technology at our fingertips. One went as far as to imply that the modern teacher has "no respect" for the pupil.

One wonders if today's student has commitment towards education and respect or teachers and the whole ideal of shaping oneself for a better future. As a teacher my initial silent reaction was to think that teachers are not motivated because of the ill disciplined child that sits at the desk today. The child that has no support from home and has been sent to school by a neglective parent who wants the teacher to play the parental role for him. I also thought of how the law denies the teacher any meaningful corrective measures to deal with delinquents and how poor working conditions are the cherry on top of this bitter cake.

I however thought further and wondered if maybe we have failed to evolve and handle effectively the demands of the modern student. Maybe we are clinging to methods and ideals that are outdated. Maybe the older generation has failed to create the environment that allows for a more committed pupil, but turns around and blames the youth for this lack of morals and values. Maybe a new set of values should be drawn up? Or should the values be kept but a new approach be taken to nurture them?

It will always be a constant case of one generation laying the blame on the other. The challenge for leaders, educationalists, parents and of course the youth themselves is to sit at a round table and wrestle with these problems before it is too late.

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