This video, out of a local classroom, has been circulating since early this morning.
We wonder where anger, violence and abuse stem from as these kids grow up.
We wonder what breeds disrespect for education and educators.
And we wonder how apathy for learning is nurtured over the years.
(Original video that was circulating has been removed off YouTube, Mohammad Jaradat alerted to vid on ikbis & embed has been replaced with that)
More terrifying than the brutal psychological and emotional trauma inflicted through this teaching approach, is the fact that it is being filmed.
Is this a trophy film for the teacher/s as they commit such a crime?
Is it any different from the trophy image of the former IDF soldier with the blind folded Palestinian prisoner?
Is it any different from the trophy images that came out of Abu Ghraib?
While this kid contributes to improving the statistic of children off the streets by the mere fact that he is in school, are we educating these kids out of dignity and humanity as we stunt their learning?
Clearly reform is not an acceptable approach to the education challenges at hand.
We ought to go back to school and create a whole new environment that solves our deep rooted troubles as we doctor curriculum and paint walls.
Education is less about the content served and more about designing safe and inspiring environments for learning.
Education is about people who nurture safe spaces for exploration and inquiry.
Think about this video when your kid comes home from school and you ask her/him: how was your day?
AmmanNet is pursuing the case and in contact with the Min of Edu:
تحاول عمان نت التأكد من صحة الفيديو –الذي نشر بتاريخ 18- كانون ثاني/2011 من جهات ذات علاقة كوزارة التربية والتعليم ، حيث ادعى ناشر الفيديو انه صور في مدرسة حكومية. و وعد الناطق باسم وزارة التربية والتعليم ايمن بركات بالاطلاع على مضمون الفيديو و تقديم رد من قبل الوزارة على هكذا ممارسات ان صحت...عمان نت
Exposed through this Facebook campaign: Syrian teachers filmed themselves abusing students in a school in Aleppo 2010. Caught and fired.
HM Queen Rania tweets that she is appalled and is pursuing the issue.
Ammannet: Min of Edu catches teacher caught on tape وزارة التربية تجد المعلمة التي ضربت الطفل
I'm gonna use the same comment I used at Black-Iris.com
While it is important to find out about this video and hold those two teachers accountable, it is also imperative to fix this schooling system.
let this ignite a campaign to fix our public education system. What about the 1000's of incidents that will never make it to the web?
There are major issues here;
1- What kind of qualifications do teachers have? Let's dig into their training and see if they need more child psychology or classroom behaviour management as one commenter mentioned.
2- There should be monitoring in school classes (as Nasim mentioned) and before we shut that down, let's look into it do our homework and see how much would it cost to have a camera monitoring system for each class? once we have a figure let's budget it and see if we can get funding fro NGO or Private sector.
3- Let's look into Teacher's wages and benefits? I personally think teachers should be highly paid and should be also highly liable, teachers play an important role and it should be well rewarded.
4- There should be newer tougher regulations against child abuse (mental,verbal,physical,sexual,emotional)
5- There should be a tougher government department that protects children and monitor cases nationwide, in the US if you leave your kids in the car alone you could be taken to jail.
6- New campaigns should emerge such as (No child left alone) and so on.
7- Child labour, all children should go to school, no dropping out, parents should be punished if they send their kids to work instead.
Feel free to add any pointers.
Educators need to go back to school to change the way they think about learning. As facilitators into the world of discovery for their students, educators must relearn how to learn in today's world and must become masters at the tools at hand so that they can become true facilitators.
For Jordan, perhaps for every 3 years of teaching, an educator should take a semester off to go catch up on some learning and open new areas in their brains to empower them to become enlightening, enabling agents for their students. One of the most frustrating things is someone who has been teaching for many years, certified, and is arrogant about new learnings... mainly due to fear, and consequently refuses to listen to what kids are aching for and instead believes that as an educator s/he knows what's good for the students and what they need to be learning. Now more than ever, educating is about listening more than it is about telling. To do that well we need some DNA reengineering.
On another level, many educators are parents, they have kids similar to those in their classrooms at home. I know some who are very double standard. They claim they know better and say they are good educators, but when it comes to their own kids, they allow themselves to get caught up in bad practices like pulling little favors with other teachers so that a daughter is excused from not delivering on time, or a favor to skew a grade compensating for a son's bad performance. But when approached by another parent about a kid in his class, same teacher takes a firm stand and doesn't accept the parent's requests. IMHO, these are the worst kind of educators coz they are not true to their trade. They do not believe in the code of their profession, therefore unconvincing to most kids and what happens is that everyone just goes thru the motions without deep thought, observation, evaluation and continuous self learning, building numbness, dullness and killing the appetite for learning.
I believe it's too simplistic to only call for educators to be facilitators coz the world we are shaping today is a facilitator culture by virtue of being connected to whoever we feel we can learn from if we so choose. Now more than ever facilitators to knowledge and opportunity are abundant. They are not necessary part of formal academia. They are reaching out and making themselves accessible. They are setting up solutions to reach out to kids and communities in new ways, they are using their experiences to give back and extend opportunity to others. They are generous in sharing what was once viewed as exclusive, proprietary and precious, free. The new DNA we need is being formed here and there and is only going to get contagious in amazing ways.
Specifically to Jordan:
Evolving edu in Jordan to Edu 2.0 using online collaborative tools is the absolute cheapest approach with the widest reach and no barriers. The gov has pledged a wired, connected country, including schools. Budgets, donors, funds have flooded schools with computers. There are over 100 knowledge centers around the country fully equipped with computers online and multimedia tools, many of these centers are used for tutoring anyway. There is accredited multimedia curriculum already being used for years in schools. And keep in mind the high mobile penetration countrywide accessible and affordable to all demographics - a tool that delivers and sends all kinds of media nestled in everyone's pocket. All the tools are there, and so are options for sources of funding/sponsorship/corporate engagement. A few remarkable teachers need to get together and jump start their Education 2.0 movement. It takes people and imagination and a desire to try, not money actually.
Across this very network there are several convos on education and learning, many that include great suggestions for action, little or no financing required. Jordan's biggest flaw and impediment to change is that the first flag we raise is the money one. As soon as someone says change this, someone else says it costs too much or we don't have the finances to cover it. It just chokes us, and we sit back and wait, and so many things don't happen coz someone says no money. This is a dangerous misconception, and far from proactive thinking.
Imagination, mindset change and using new tools and solutions at our fingertips costs no extra money.
We need collaborative efforts, sharing info, growing a conversation. Online is the magic tool for that. And as a country we have existing financing, donor support, private sector support to connect the country and schools. Has been ongoing for years. The challenge lies in the people designing the solutions.
Some years ago, we managed to find budgets and supporters for the 100+ knowledge centers around the country. Basically a hole in the wall in cities and villages, equipped with computers, online, and some with other interactive tools, scanners, digital cameras, etc. Free of charge to the community. They were all set up and the result was an amazing network of connected spaces. What didn't happen is the curating. No one was responsible for designing programs useful to people and these free tools and resources. Most did the Office tools training and a lot of Solitaire.
Programming, curating, and designing experiences is a serious specialized job. We fail every time to fulfill this. We build the structure, put the hardware and walk away. That's the super easy part. The real work is about identifying and supporting some people who have the ability to imagine solutions, are good listeners to observe how people are learning, working and living, and the know-how to design relevant alternatives.
There is a revolution in learning happening online. We need to not miss that boat! The catch up game will be painful. On the other hand, if the gov doesn't recognize this fast and get involved, that may be good. A parallel learning system will slowly be built by a few who get it, that will inevitably catch traction and grow, more and more will use it/rely on it. Before we know it there will be an alternative learning environment for our kids that is benefiting them, and gov is out of the game - a spectator not sure what just happened. A revolution.
Education is Jordan should not be about reform, nor about polite little insignificant changes that make us feel good. It's a whole new code that needs to be imagined and designed. Anything short of that is useless dabbling and ineffective distraction.