25 January 2011

"Educational Terrorism"

I wrote this post in response to the post of another blogger. I thought it was worth sharing.

I am a foreigner here, relatively new to Jordan (<2 years). I am one of those who was shocked by the treatment of the little boy. I was also one who tweeted it and posted it on my Facebook page, as well as sending the clip to Her Majesty, the Queen. Now I read your post and learn that pupils are allegedly beaten, tied with chains and that some children have actually died! I am not questioning the veracity of your statements, but if these things are happening on a regular basis, where is the outrage? Where are the parents of these children and why aren’t they doing something to stop it?

Because I am accustomed to the uncaring attitudes of the bureaucrats in the US, I’m not at all surprised by the attitudes of the principals and ministers. I also understand the overwhelming nature of the job of the teachers. None of these mitigates inattention by the parents. Principals, teachers and Ministry of Education personnel can be forced to “care” if the parents of these defenseless children stand up for the rights of their kids. The kids can’t do it; it is the job of the family to ensure a child can attend school without the fear of being bullied, humiliated, tortured and sexually abused by so-called educators.

The very idea that a restroom was shut down in the school at Madaba is a clear indication that the Ministry is well aware of the problems. That was the wrong approach to such a problem. The teacher or teachers who were guilty of abusing pupils should have been immediately and publicly punished. There is absolutely no excuse for that. Paedophiles will find a way to vent their twisted desires, and closing the restroom only made them look elsewhere. Perhaps even a place less observable. But now they can point to the closed restroom and say "it isn't happening anymore." 

In the end, it is only the parents who can prevent any of this. Parents should be intimately involved with the education process of their kids. If the educators know that parents are checking up on them, ensuring the progress and safety of their kids the likelihood of abuse will plummet. When a child is brought into this world of uncertainty he should at least be assured that his parents will assume and maintain their responsibility toward him until he reaches adulthood. No higher responsibility is given us than to raise our kids in a way that they are safe and as free from fear as it is possible to be in this world in which we live.

There is lots of blame to go round in this scenario, but the ultimate blame lies with the parents who don’t know what is happening to their kids when they are in the care of the education system.

Today, I read the following blog post from a fellow blogger here in Amman:

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Why the Jordanian Teacher Terrorizing that Kid Should Not Be Punished

I watched the clip of a Jordanian teacher terrorizing a 1st-grade student in a public school. It was painful to see a young kid being humiliated, but it was more painful to see the reaction of a wide array of people to this youtube clip.

It looks like the people who were "shocked" the most were those who never gave a damn to start with. We all know that children get beaten up in almost every single public school in Jordan. Sometimes they get brutally beaten up, tied by chains, humiliated, and the physical abuse may even qualify as torture in some cases. Some students died, actually died, as a consequence of violence targeted at them from teachers.

The ministry of education doesn't pay attention to these cases. The principles of these schools don't care, mainly because most of them support the right of teachers to treat their students as their kids (i.e. beat the shit out of them-if necessary!) And just like having 10 kids can be a burden to a father, having 50 kids in one class is a huge burden. There is not time to pay any special attention towards kids.

I'm not even going to discuss sexual abuses against kids since I don't have names (obviously not clips either) but we hear the stories about teachers who have been "investigated" by school administration and asked to teach a different class because of clear sexual abuses against students. Things have got so bad in a public school in Madaba that a school shut down its restroom because of such sexual.

All these fake reactions by the ministry of Health were a result of the clip going viral, and not because of the violence itself. That little kid is lucky. His misery that went viral will almost guarantee he'll never be hit again , at least for a while. But make no mistake, this morning in Jordan a big number of students in Jordanian schools will be beaten up in schools by teachers and principals and nobody will record it on youtube, not allowing the Ammani elitist living in a bubble to pretend to be have feelings to allow them to feel sorry for kids who seem to be living in a different planet.

At least that teacher was teaching that kid something other than that his country is giving up on him and unless his parents were rich and connected he didn't belong to this land he lived in anymore.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is an outrage. I would not have allowed such things as this to happen to my children without that teacher being punished to the fullest extent of the law, nor would I live in a place or send my child to a school such as this, even if I had to move to another state or country. Children are to be loved and protected by the parents and teachers. Why are they not protected in these school. A fearful child cannot learn in a school such as this.