VIRAL VIDEO: Student throws water at teacher: Are we raising a generation lacking respect?
09 November 2018| 01 Rabi ul Awal 1440| Najma Bibi Noor Mahomed
It’s another day in your mathematics class. Same numbers different equation. It’s probably the second last period of the day and solving for ‘x’ is giving you a headache. You find your concentration broken by the sniggering from the last row of the class better known as the class troublemakers.
The sniggering has not just disturbed your concentration but your teacher too. She stares up and engages with the group disrupting the class. As usual the group tried to argue their way out of the situation and you see the frustration growing on your teachers face. And just then, one silly comment from the bunch forces the class to erupt in laughter triggering your teachers last nerve.
Immediately she instructs the noise makers to leave the class. And just like that, order is restored. Well, that was the situation back when I was in school. But in the millennial generation it seems the teachers are the ones forced out of the class after a scenario like this.
A video has recently surfaced on social media putting a school in the Northern Cape under the spotlight for student inappropriate behavior. The video shows a pupil from Kimberley Boy’s High School throwing water in a teachers face.
In the video the pupil is seen standing at the teacher’s desk holding a plastic bottle of water. The pupil talks to the teacher and we hear him saying “You’re a great teacher ma’am” before throwing water at her face. The teacher is then seen struggling to get the bottle from the pupil and once she gets it she throws it away and walks out of the classroom amid a roar of cheers from fellow classmates. The grade 9 student has since been suspended following the incident and will be writing his final examinations at Frances Baard District office.
Now if this occurred when I was in school no form of punishment from the school would be fitting as compared to the one you would receive when your parents got word of your activities.
So here is the question, if we are the kids who were raised by the generation of discipline and “because I said so” what is happening to our kids?
Is it the teacher’s responsibility to discipline your child?
Seeing as most of a child’s day is spent in the classroom it’s safe to say some kind of teacher student relationship must develop. Ideally, this relationship should be one of respect and value, but the world we live in is far from ideal. Discipline should not be one of the factors that teachers find themselves threading in.
With classrooms filled to capacity with over 40 students in many public (and in some stances private) schools, how are teachers supposed to enforce discipline? Imagine if each teacher had to go up and speak to each child lacking discipline. I don’t think ‘Ma’am’ has time to say “tuck your shirt in Ebrahim”, “Don’t put your boogers under the desk Tom”, “wait for someone to finish speaking before interrupting them Fathima” among other basic lessons of discipline.
At the same time parents are not the only ones to blame. Some kids may come from homes with impeccable discipline, yet for some reason kids have the desire to cause trouble in class in a bid to be the centre of attention. Whatever the case, parents need to talk to their children about appropriate and inappropriate behaviour.
Some teachers believe that besides the lack of discipline from home, the abolishing of corporal punishment has led to further disrespect toward teachers. A teacher who chose to remain anonymous said “The main reason for disrespect is the abolishment of corporal punishment in schools. The government has tied our hands and kids are taking advantage knowing that teachers and parents will be reprimanded for disciplining them.”
The issue of teacher safety erupted earlier this year when a teacher, 24 year old Gadimang Daniel Mokolobate was allegedly stabbed and killed by a 17 year old pupil at Ramotshere Secondary School in Zeerust in the North West.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has spoken following the latest incident indicating that violence at schools demand urgent attention. The president says police and the Department of Basic Education will work hand in hand to deal with the levels of violence.
But until then what should you do?
Say thank you.
It is the end of the year so perhaps you could send a basket of muffins or fruit to say “Thank You” to your child’s teacher for the support and guidance that has helped your child take steps towards their future. Don’t ascribe to the ungrateful mindset that a teacher gets a salary so why should I need to send a gift. It’s not a gift! It is a token of appreciation for the patience and tolerance teachers have in dealing with your little ‘angels’.
WRITTEN BY: NAJMA BIBI NOOR MAHOMED
Najma Bibi Noor Mahomed is a journalist currently producing and hosting the afternoon show On The Pulse. Formally from Durban and having lived in both Cape Town and now Johannesburg has given her deep insight into people. Najma uses her experience with the different communities to write up dramatic sketches. In her spare time she reads memes and cooks up a storm.