When educators turn uglyPosted: August 7, 2008
“The reports, lodged by two students from SMK Telok Panglima Garang last Friday, stated that a female history teacher had allegedly called Indian students ‘keling pariah’, ‘Negro’ and ‘black monkeys’, amongst other derogatory names.
In the report, the Form Four and Form Five student said the teacher purportedly told students during class that ‘Indians came from dogs’, Indians are ‘children of prostitutes’ and the community is stupid.
They also allege that teacher had said the community youth ‘did not have testicles’, ‘always menstruates’ and indulged in thuggery and theft.
This is completely outrageous. Incidents like this shouldn’t be happening, period. Much less in schools. How much of the same actually happens in other schools where they just go unnoticed, unreported, or ignored?
This is not the kind of language for anyone to be using.
To the teacher’s credit, she has had the guts to admit that she did say what was alleged. At the very least, she has SOME conscience left. Let’s hope she changes her mindset.
But what I’m curious about is the action that has been taken:
BANTING: A secondary school teacher accused of hurling racial slurs against her Indian students recently is on leave prior to her transfer on Monday.
Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator T. Murugiah, who visited SMK Telok Panglima Garang yesterday, said the teacher regretted the incident and had apologised to the students.
“She also said that she did not expect things to become so serious and has agreed to be transferred to another school,” added Murugiah who was accompanied by officers from the Education Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Department’s Public Complaints Bureau.
Full article HERE.
If I may ask, what did she expect when she spouted those hateful words? Did she expect the students to just take the insults like as if it is most normal? Or was she simply not thinking?
Second, when they say “transfer to another school”, does it mean that she is still going to be teaching? It is, after all, her profession, although her character is seriously suspect at the moment.
So far I have seen no reports or articles that mention her name. All they state are “secondary school teacher”, or “woman history teacher”, and nothing else.
Maybe it’s important to protect her identity, so that this incident doesn’t jeopardise her future. Maybe. I don’t know. But I think it’s equally important for students, schools, and parents alike to know what kind of teachers our schools have today. That she is no longer in this school, and can no longer dish out insults to the students of this school, doesn’t mean she wouldn’t do it again in another school. Transferring her is only a skin-deep measure taken to calm what could turn into a full storm.
Perhaps she has learnt her lesson. Perhaps she’ll think twice, three times even, before she opens her mouth without thinking again. It’s better if it is this way. After all, everyone deserves a second chance.
But to leave the state of mind of school-going children in the hands of teachers like her who can potentially ruin the psychological well-being of their students is too much of a gamble for me. I don’t have the stomach for this.
Teachers are supposed to be responsible for their students. ALL their students. She’s one who’s not doing a good job at all.
When I first came to NZ, I thought the system here was insane. Some teachers have been convicted of child abuse, of sexual assault, and yet they can continue to teach in schools, because they are protected, in the name of “rehabilitation”. They change their identity, wipe their record clean, and go on to teach in schools where even the principals don’t know any better.
The only good thing was that the NZ media went on to expose this absurdity, and civil society responded to the reports.
What of Malaysia?
Education is one of the most important aspects of nation-building. Let us not allow the system to contain such unacceptable behaviour, and disguise it like as if it doesn’t matter.