Firstly, and most importantly, teachers in all schools should realize that they are responsible for their students’ future. This is especially true for children from less affluent homes who cannot afford to supplement the school’s teaching with extra tuition. Teachers should not shirk their responsibilities towards their students. I am emphasizing this point because some teachers do not seem to feel the slightest obligation to do their job well nor the slightest feeling of guilt when their students fail in the examinations.
In fact, in my school, teachers are sometimes found sipping coffee or even having a snack in the school canteen when they are supposed to be in class teaching. Of course, there are teachers who are truly committed to their job and do deliver the goods. They stay up late into the night to finish correcting their students’ work and to prepare effective lessons for their students. Some teachers will even devote Saturday mornings to conducting extra-curricular activities, such as the Scouts movement.
Now, if only all teachers were like this! Furthermore, wouldn’t the school be a much better place to spend our adolescence if we did not have to cope with teachers who vent their foul moods on us? We should not have to walk on eggshells because our teacher has had a bad day. Another aspect of the school that needs changing is the set of school rules. Some are so irrational or petty! Take, for example, the rule on short hair for boys. What is the rationale behind this?
Do the people in authority believe that everyone with long hair will turn out to be a thug or a villain? Well, look at Hitler: he had very short hair and he almost caused the extinction of the entire Jewish race! On the other hand, punishments for serious acts of indiscipline should be made more effective, even if they have to be harsher. These days, students may get away with only a warning or a “booking” for offences such as breaking the school’s tables, chairs and even doors. I strongly feel that hese vandals should be made to pay for what they have destroyed. Furthermore, I feel that criminal action should be taken against students who beat people up, or threaten to do so, to extort money from them. If you behave like a criminal, you should be treated like one. Another area that needs reform is the school curriculum. One major problem is the subject called “Moral Education”. You just cannot learn good morals the way you learn any other academic subject, memorizing facts for examinations.
Good morals have to be internalized. So, “Moral Education” should either be taken off the school curriculum after primary school or changed to emphasize practical application rather than “head knowledge”. Our school hours take up a large portion of our day. Let us spend these hours usefully, in a secure, caring, fun-filled atmosphere. Our school years take up a large proportion of our lives. This is the time that we are molded, intellectually and morally. Help us to grow into worthy citizens of our nation.