Friday, October 13, 2006

The constant education of life

By Kirsten Nour Namskau

To work as a teacher in Egypt is a chapter by it self . . . I had got work as a teacher in a school nearby. It takes time to adjust to the third world’s way of schooling. They try to come with in the western way of handling the children but they don’t really succeed.
They have not really understood the point, that although we don’t have the habit to beat and give rough punishment to children, we still have a line of authority.
So, their children become very impolite, the parents treat the teachers as their servants, and expect to be able to pay good marks for their children. (If not, then it is a bad teacher.)
The privatization of the schools has gone all wrong . . . it is pure business and you almost can see the children turns into “Dollar signs $$$$$$$” in the school-yard.
This leads to that 90% of the private schools have an administration who don’t know what they are doing . . . when it comes to syllabus, educations and qualified teachers and their needs of equipments, as well do they not know what the students need of equipments.
This leads in next term to; that for an educated, well qualified teacher from the western world, the schools in the third world appear to be a hobby school with hobby books, hobby syllabus, and hobby teachers who are tourists seeking job for 3-4 months, (many of them still students in their own country), home wives who need some pocket-money, or any one who can speak more than three words of English. (If you can speak English, they believe you are the best teacher.)
They also would like to have foreign, well qualified teachers, but the problem is, that these teachers know what they are doing and why they are doing it. They know what they need to give a good lesson and claim it. They will usually not accept gifts from the parents, for the purpose to give their children “the best in class” marks.
More so, they make it quite clear for the children who is in charge in the class and will usually not accept that the parents, (who don’t know anything about schooling) tell them what to do with the children and how to teach in the class.
They claim regular “parent’s meeting” where they want to speak with the parents . . and they tell the truth about their child and the progress of the child.
Like as well do they claim a proper salary. (The salary for an Egyptian teacher is between US $ 45,- to US $ 200,- pr. month.)
This usually becomes a big headache for the school administration (who don’t know what they are doing), so usually, they prefer to employ un-educated “highly qualified” foreign teachers. (read; European youth, tourists, ex-wife of an native etc. )
This follows by at all time; a fight for the parent’s accept, nodding heads to the administration and lurk at the other teacher to get ideas, like as well do the jealousy bloom, and if you can pinch anyone . . . that’s great.
But, you get used to everything, almost. . .
I was thinking, if I don’t succeed, I happily have several educations to lean on, so for sure I will not be out of work.
. . . . .


Anonymous said...

I dealt with hacks a teachers and am in agreement with you.

It's not so easy to buy grades here anymore thankfully.

The parents often expect the teachers to teach kids the lessons they should be learning at home, manners, respect, hygiene etc...

Tink said...

Makes my complaints about teachers here lame, but even we have hack teachers only in reverse who expect the parents to do all the teaching. Maybe one day both worlds will meet and children will really get a proper education.

Kirsten N. Namskau said...

Hammer & Tink: Yes, if each part know their respective responsibility...that would be the best. Here in Egypt it is like this too that the teachers expect the parents to teach the children at home, just because they actually don't know by themselves how to teach...