In the wake of the latest PISA test results, it could be said that the Serbian education is tapping in one place. Namely, all these years we were somewhere in the list of countries according to the results.
Last week, Vera Isailović referred to some of the problems in education, and offered suggestions for their solutions. You can read the text here.These are some more problems that she addressed on this occasion.
THE PROBLEM - VIOLENCE AND DISCIPLINE
We are witnessing a huge increase in violence in schools, which seems to be rising in the last few months. Probably dissatisfaction with the economic situation affects the parents, and it is being transmitted to the children. Not to mention the abundance of low-quality television programs, which children usually watch under parental supervision, but it is not such a rare case that children have at their disposal content that parents do not even know about. The overall atmosphere in the society, where ugly words and the treatment of public figures are an example of already domesticated bad treatment of others. All these together are factors, which obviously have an indirect influence on events in schools.
It is difficult for teachers to take care of the negative attitude towards the public in recent decades. They are presented as lazy, unemployed, with a long vacation leave, with short working hours, so the media have greatly contributed to the consolidation of such an attitude to this day.
In recent years, there has been a lot of talk about children's rights, about parental rights, but it seems to me that few people mentioned that both students and parents have obligations in addition to their rights. Commitments are somehow put in the background. We all feel the consequences of that.
How do we deal with all these challenges that we face every day?
SOLUTION OF THE PROBLEM
For the problem to be solved, it is necessary that all the factors that influence the change in the children's behavior act in agreement. In other words, teachers alone, without cooperation with parents, social services, health services, police and the judiciary, ultimately cannot cope with all the problems that are currently only on the shoulders of the school.
Since we can hardly change the entire social environment, then we need to change the rules that will apply in schools. So far, we have had numerous meetings at the school for each type of violence at different levels, we have talked at those meetings and teams about "enhanced educational work" with students, but the problem is thus only diluted, and obviously not solved. The fact that the violence did not decrease, but increased, also speaks in favor of the teams not solving their problems. Bullies practically do not even feel certain sanctions.
I think that the most efficient and simplest solution is a fine. Therefore, making a price list for each type of violence, and the penalties should be at the expense of the parents. The range of fines should be in line with the parents' income, but still not too large (the range of fines could be from 500 dinars to, say, 5,000 dinars). The problem of non-payment of fines should be resolved through a single judge, who would urgently resolve such fines in case of non-payment. The money could be paid into a school account / “student dinar” and the parent only needs to bring a receipt to school. If a parent had to pay a fine for their child several times, I think that their aggression towards the teacher would decrease very quickly.
Of course, there should be workshops and an advisory part with parents and students, but there should also be options for fines, as well.
Parents are currently threatening teachers, reporting to the competent ministries, which I would rather call the old name - inspection, which then asked the teachers for all possible records. Is it really a good way to empower a teacher? I have recently heard about a case in a Belgrade school: a child committed a serious disciplinary offense; the parent was invited; then the dissatisfied parent called the teacher supervisors; since the teacher did not have all the necessary documentation, a measure was ordered for the increased supervision of the teacher (the author of this text knows which school is in question and what kind of offense the child committed) by the principal and the pedagogical service.
In such a distorted moral order of things, educating healthy generations is not even possible.
LONG-TERM PROBLEM SOLVING
To solve the problem in the long run, it is necessary to create a strategy on changes that need to be done systematically and in the long run.
For such a thing, all the above-mentioned services should be engaged, each in its own domain. If the medical profession is in question, for example, initiate education through television, lectures, patronage services on the importance of upbringing, instilling healthy habits, on a healthy diet, on the importance of education from an early age.
If kindergartens are in question, they should already be involved in a broader action of educating parents, as well as in what way they can be involved in the upbringing and education of their children (from what toys the child should have, to what content child should master, and if necessary, advertise on TV bedtime stories and educational content that children should follow).
Maybe then children who know how to treat teachers with due respect would attend our schools. Maybe children would then appreciate the fact that teachers pass on knowledge to them, and that is something that should be appreciated.