Time to address treatment of our teachers

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It is unfortunate that the country’s hard-working teachers have to deal with the indiscipline and disrespect of some pupils. The online posts shared by some certainly expose the difficulty some teachers face in trying to deliver the curriculum to their charges. It is estimated that almost half of contact time is spent on getting unruly pupils settled and focused on what matters in the classroom.

However, the saddest thing about this situation is that it’s not just happening now, since the uptick in online teaching but it has been going on for a very long time. It’s just that the virtual classroom situation is beginning to expose a lot of things that have been happening behind closed doors and never brought to the fore.

We have heard horror stories of pupils using obscene language in schools, refusing to participate in class, distracting teachers and other pupils who really want to learn and even vandalising school property and teachers’ cars and personal effects.

The situation does not exist in all schools but in others it is very grim. This is very unfortunate.

But what is even of more concern is the fact that in many instances the issue is shoved under the carpet or completely ignored by the authorities. In the latter case teachers are left to struggle by themselves to teach without any reprieve or assistance.

We have, in the past read about a ‘gang’ of indisciplined pupils from a school in the east who had to be split up into other schools in order to keep them away from each other.

Indisciplined behaviour is definitely a very troubling matter and it can negatively impact on school performance.

It is hoped that with the newly-elected Government in place and a new Minister of Education this situation could be addressed in a serious and effective manner that will improve school performance and reduce teacher burnout.

WKS Hosein Chaguanas