Friday, March 30, 2007

Respect for Teachers Diminishing

From the Korea Times:
There is nothing we can do as we are closed out of key discussions and decision making that could make the quality of education better. And we are forced to connect with our students only under a big, machine-like process that has the single purpose of sending them to a four-year college in Seoul, which makes our job similar to goal-oriented sports coaches
said high school teacher Huh. AMEN.

The ILO recognizes that the worsening social status of teachers and teaching is a global phenomenon. Education has been commodified, and teachers are service providers. Not happy with the service? Well then the teacher is responsible. The Ministry will happily provide you with a teacher evaluation form, rate her service as you see fit.

The irony of course is that teachers must, in the end, accept responsibility for what, why and how we teach. If we fail to organize, if we're unwilling to demand substantial structural changes in every area, then we will deserve the contempt of students and parents, and maybe even the occassional slap.

Note to staff reporter Kim Tong-hyung: the inclusion of KTU in stories like these would help the cause. KFTA, not so much.

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