Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Is Merit Based Thinking Doomed When Teachers Think Like This?

I was reading in the Jordan Times yesterday and today about the teachers who are striking in the Southern (and now Central and Northern) governorates. I find this topic interesting. I don't actually have any issue with the teachers striking, after all US teachers have unions which end up going on strike upon occasion in various locations. Sadly, it is the children who are harmed, but teachers need a voice. If unions are unconstitutional, then the government needs to find a way to give such a significant segment of society a voice.

But what seriously, seriously troubled me about this strike is the fact that the demands are:

calling for the resignation of Minister of Education Ibrahim Badran, in addition to higher allowances, guaranteed university seats for their children and the right to establish a professional association.

Frankly, these guys need to get over an insensitive comment made by Ibrahim Badran. Yeah, it was not well thought out. So, grow up and get over it. As for higher allowances and the right to establish a professional association, well I see no huge issue here. I presume allowances means compensation (either through salary or some other form). I can't speak to whether they make enough, but generally in most places public school teachers are undercompensated for the difficulty of their work.

It's that one nagging demand that truly troubles me. Yep, ladies and gentlemen, they want guaranteed university seats for their kids. Is it possible that someone with this thought process is assigning grades in their classes based on performance and merit? Or is it that they only see an exception for their children? After all, surely their children have an added leg up on all those who attend schools and don't have a teacher at home, right? So they shouldn't need some sort of special wasta to guarantee their slot at university. They should be able to make it on merit, right? The idea that the people responsible for teaching in public schools are blatantly calling for wasta troubles me greatly. After all, if they're teaching kids that this is appropriate behavior, how are we EVER going to combat it?

Happy learning!


At 11:35 AM , Anonymous kinzi said...

Spot on, MommaBean. I thought the same thing but didn't follow the whole issue.

At 1:34 PM , Blogger MommaBean said...

It jumped right out at me...

At 7:38 AM , Anonymous Malli said...

Another spot on from me! The wasta thing is totally ridiculous. People should only go places using their own initiative not because they know so and so. A big big clean up needs to go on for this to happen. And like you said if this is what they are teaching, it will never be clean.

Heres hoping . . .

At 1:51 PM , Blogger MommaBean said...

Hoping right there with you, Malli.


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