The Star Early Edition

Change at­ti­tudes to re­store or­der

- John Richard Whit­lock

THIS IS IN RE­PLY to Khume Ra­mulifho and Vasco da Gama (The Star, Oc­to­ber 30). Since 1994, when teach­ers were al­lowed to wear jeans, takkies and T-shirts, “sar­to­rial deco­rum” and the sta­tus of teach­ers and prin­ci­pals have taken a nose­dive.

It is known as the “come as you please” syn­drome. Teach­ers, as such, are now part of the “gang” bo­som bud­dies, who are called by their first names, with the dire re­sult – no re­spect.

Schools, in many cases, are no longer re­garded as ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions, but hol­i­day camps.

No won­der school uni­forms are frowned upon by pupils.

Dis­cussing a prob­lem with the prin­ci­pal is like dis­cussing it with the school gar­dener.

This sloppy at­ti­tude by the teach­ing staff, as well as try­ing to be “one of the boys”, has re­sulted in sloppy class­work, sloppy man­ners and a sloppy at­ti­tude by the pupils, who now feel they are on the same level as the teach­ers and prin­ci­pals, hence the prob­lems at schools.

It also shows up in teach­ers’ de­meanour and work ethic.

I won­der how many teach­ers ac­tu­ally pre­pare proper, in­ter­est­ing and in­for­ma­tive lessons? How many teach­ers mark work, home­work and as­sign­ments? How many dis­cuss lessons and prob­lems with their pupils? Pupils quickly pick up on in­com­pe­tent and over-friendly teach­ers and ex­ploit it to the full.

Pride has no longer any place in many of our schools.

The once-her­alded “ethos” of schools no longer ex­ists, and that is why our stan­dards have dropped and schools have de­gen­er­ated into sex dens and in many cases, dens of in­iq­uity.

A com­mis­sion of in­quiry is not go­ing to solve the prob­lem . A change of at­ti­tude by both par­ties is vi­tal.

When are chil­dren go­ing to be treated as chil­dren in­stead of minia­ture adults? Karl Lager­feld said: “I don’t want to look sloppy be­cause then I feel sloppy”. Too true. Ger­mis­ton

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