Are School Teachers your childrens’ parents?

Singapore is a booming meritocratic city with more than half the population once decedents of migrants from different parts of the world.
Education then was not compulsory, limited in material, and very dedicated to specific racial and religious groups. With majority being originators of the Asian or the “Eastern” side of the globe, naturally thought of the greener pastures, the West, for better education. So there we were then, becoming “westernized” and saw the benefits of unifying the residents of the island colony as one independent state, after we taste the defeat and the witness the helplessness of the protectors of the colony to the Japanese.
So 48 years has past, and we are deemed one of

The richest country in the world – The Straits Times, Singapore. 2012

We have indeed achieved a lot, and in a short amount of time. Rather, this is the achievement of our forefathers, who came without fear of the unknown, and built what we can call our home now.
Now all this does sound a little like what you would study in history and social studies from the time of independence to now. Education soon after became compulsory, and since has always been a core of every citizen born and bred here in Singapore. From this core, lies the educators, who forms the pillar which the foundation of education is laid out for the future of Singapore’s well being and prosperity. We are who we are today; where we are today, if not for these educators, or teachers as we call them. They are well respected, and shaped the otherwise lazy, cheeky, rebellious us into respectable citizens today. And where they are unable to reach us, we have our ever stringent parents who will with a rattan, shape us up further into individuals who are independent, reliable and responsible for the society.
But as the society prosper, material wants kicks in, and every Singaporean starts to work the extra mile to gain better social status, better quality of life. We thought that by doing this is for the sake of our children, that they can live a better life. But are we forgetting the values our parents taught us?
Children are born innocent; an empty vassal, waiting to be filled with whatever he/she is being taught. As the saying goes: Rubbish in; rubbish out. Children are good emulators of their parents, and if the parent sets a bad example such as being ungracious when shopping in a mall (cut queues), or filling up more than one can consume at a buffet (kiasuism), that is how his/her child will be when he/she grows up, unless he/she relearns new values from other influences. So when a child misbehaves in school, not knowing what he/she has done wrong, the teacher may first reprimand the child, but ultimately the real discipline should come from the parent, and such teachings should be done privately at home. But of late, this doesn’t seem to be the case. These days, the parents expect the teachers to take on the role of the parents, to discipline their children at school, a public sphere. I guess some of the reason being: No time at home; paid higher school fees, therefore expected more out of the teachers.
For the first reason: Having no time to discipline a child at home is a poor excuse to skive off the duty that is expected for the parent. You have a child, you are responsible for them, and therefore responsible for their actions until they reach adulthood. You, the parent, therefore should be the primary discipline master in both the public sphere, as well as private sphere. You don’t push your responsibilities to some strangers (in general), and then blame them for not doing a good job, because they definitely can’t mold your child to look like themselves. My opinion: Teachers/Educators primarily can only instill societal norms and conformity to your child. Cultures and behaviors are learnt at home.  So if you, the parent expects the teacher/educator to teach your child not to poke his/her chopsticks in the middle of the rice bowl, or not to squat on the toilet seat, the teacher/educator won’t be able to do that, but they may very well teach your child to be less respectful to their parents, because that really shows your failure at parenting. There is no formula to discipline your child, and I don’t think I am qualified to give any suggestions, but just firmly inform your child, be serious about their actions and correct them, and your child will understand you. That would not take you too much your time, right? Check out this page in Parent-Child Social Development.

The second reason: You think you pay a high price for your child’s education, you should be expecting more out of your investments, right? You think that when your child complete s his education years a well-polished, well-chiseled individual. That is not going to happen, and raising a child is not like making a business work! (if it does, well you just created a new crop!) Cost of living goes up, and everyone drives to attain a better standard of living. No less when it comes to paying for an education. You work and got a pay rise, so does the teacher/educator. They work; they get a pay rise, and how to justify for a pay-rise? By increasing education fees. But there are things that just cannot be learned in school. As mentioned in the first reasoning, education institutions can only impart social values and social norms (Pretty much in line with the societal needs). Other forms of social skills such as social interactions on a personal level and communications are basically learnt at home.  That is where parents play a part in ensuring their child is well prepared to face their peers and to network. Such skills are priceless and will shape the unique character of the child, and no better institutions than at home, with their parents. Therefore, if there isn’t enough interaction and communication, or whatever that is played out at home is negative, you will have a child that is so full of negativity; he/she will become imbalanced, and may not be able to reach their fullest potential. So it boils back to the first reasoning.  Wait, Do you even think that money can get you everything? Check out Daniel Wong’s page and you might find some pretty good tips to turn your life (as well as your child and anyone else affected) around.

I’ve said so much.  It is pointless to rant on more when the trend has been present from 2012 (I actually started this post from 2012, and it took me 2 years to come up with appropriate words to sum up my observations and reactions). If you are a parent and finds some of what is written here similar to your current situation, there is still hope! The help links that goes into this post is very useful.

<Ranting ends.>

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