Thursday, May 29, 2008

Grow Up

Rather than buying the Cyworld talking points and holding trendy vigils and staging pseudo protests over low-quality American beef (which is still safer than Korean beef), it seems that these high school kids have finally found a cause that is worthy. It is one that I have seen and one that I would happily protest with them.

The overly strict and abusive (orally and physically) Korean education system is finally seeing a little reaction to their years of socially accepted disciplinary abuse. One would think that it would be from the parents. I would be irate if some teacher was hitting my child, but no, it's the kids that are saying enough is enough.

Students at a high school in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, stood in the pouring rain on the playground. They refused to attend class and called for an apology from a teacher, after one of their female schoolmates attempted suicide following corporal punishment and an insult from the teacher.

It is becoming apparent that the students are starting to realize that they can have a say in how their education is carried out.

Some have even gotten physical with the teachers.
"On May 22, a 12-year-old student at Sinjeong Elementary School in western Seoul punched his teacher in the face with his fist several times in front of a group of classmates, according to witnesses and parents. The teacher, 32, received injuries around her mouth and had to have several stitches."

Hitting a teacher is never okay either, but can you blame them?

Education in all country's has experienced this. In America, it was totally acceptable SIXTY YEARS AGO. It's time to grow up. It's time to move all facets of society forward with the times. These students are told they need to learn English, think globally and study abroad so they can compete in a flat world. They understand and live that reality everyday.

It's time that the teachers wake up and realize what their students have: It's the 21st century, grow up...

2 comments:

Harriet said...

You did not say why the 12 year old punched his teacher. Overall frustration?

By the way, of all the beef we tasted on our Asian trip...American beef is the best!

Romeiser said...

The teacher tried to have the student sit on the floor as a shaming punishment.