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posted 15 Jun 2014, 05:41 by Gerry Kangalee   [ updated 15 Jun 2014, 05:42 ]
Even as we descend further into barbarism with State-sponsored and media-supported shooting to death of 15 and 17 year olds in the 'fight against crime', I shuddered on reading some of the comments being made on a social media page dedicated to teacher activity. 

I am not suggesting it is teachers only who are writing. It may be parents. But if I were a student, tomorrow morning I would go out and organise some heavy, heavy self-defence groups against vigilante minded teachers and parents. 

The postings are in response to a report that another 'teacher versus child'' incident left the teacher physically assaulted and psychologically traumatised. The physical and mental state of the child? We are not told. After all 'she had no right to hit the teacher', so she does not count. Children must be hit and not heard. 

I should mention that the story, like that of the fatal shooting of the teen age cousins, is written to maintain the sentiment that in certain schools, teachers are 'at risk' as are police officers in their daily duties to "protect and swerve" through two lane traffic, sirens blasting to non-existent emergencies. 

Here are some of the views of the 'teachers/parents' accessing this site: 

*Stop petting juvenile offenders

*If was my child he/she still under operation

*The doctors still trying to find the rest of the damn teeth

*The teacher should bust the child head with a f*&%#@g duster

*!@#$%^&y. The child should be at YTC

*Both ah we would ah done gone over the rail 

I ask myself, if there are teachers among the lot, how did they get into schools? What did they teach them in Training College: that students are 'objects to be filled' with 'moral and spiritual values' along with creative writing skills and continuous assessment consciousness? 

I am very well aware that many of the teachers are unaware that education, like sexual awareness, comes from many sources and the classroom is a place where the formal and the informal synthesise. But I also recognise that teachers, supervisors, Ministry officials, Permanent Secretaries at home and AWOL are not paid to read Paulo Freire, Jonathon Kozol, Eric Fromm or Noam Chomsky. So very soon the children and the parents become the enemy. Jail the parents and beat the children, right? Will the Minister of Education."Tim-idly' be soon saying: "We have to take back the schools from the children”? 

As long as teachers, parents and the students continue to believe that they are mainly to blame, that they are making bad choices, when they have few if any, that corporal punishment is the answer, the situation will worsen The education system, like the health system is broken regardless of how many students 'pass' the SEA exam.

A young man who states that 25 years is 'old age' is clear that what passes for education, social integration, rehabilitation, equality before the law - these are all lies, fallacies, maybe even a dangerous joke. He accepts that he and his peers will continue to be shot down in the street by both gangs, (neighbourhood-based and state-equipped), that he will continue to feel alienated in schools because the teachers seriously lack consciousness and more significantly courage to fight for change that will benefit all. Many of them see themselves as 'dead men walking'.

Yet I am reading where some teachers are asking for ‘updates on negotiations'. I hope they do not find themselves with some of their former students offering to help them spend their increases at the point of a gun

Will the labour movement, whose members are the parents of the most affected, see this as a question to be addressed? I doubt it...at least not right now while they are busy romancing the PNM stone