Friday, February 04, 2005

A Lesson in Common Sense

I saw this brief article in the Joongang Ilbo:
Teachers take own medicine

February 05, 2005 ㅡ Elderly educational leaders lashed themselves on their calves yesterday in atonement for what they called the "degraded morals" of society.
The event took place at the Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul. Some 70 academics gathered and whipped their own calves with switches ― a customary punishment for poorly-behaved students. They said they felt responsible for the recent cheating in university entrance exams and a teacher's wrongful assistance of students in tests. After their "punishment," they discussed humanism in education.
Participants included Park Young-sik, former education minister and current president of Kwangwoon University, and Kim Tae-kil, president of the National Academy of Sciences.
And I wondered how can a country a modernise or how can an education system become effective in teaching children when such a bunch of blockheaded backward brainless twits like those guys are the ones leading?

The noted point that these were elderly people gives some hope that their view on who or what is responsible for the recent cheating in entrance exams is not the norm among educators in Korea. There are a lot of things wrong with education in many countries, and Korea is far from an exception, but if would be hard to think of a less effective means of addressing the issues. The message it sends to parents, to fellow teachers, and most importantly, to students, can't be good.

Also, why was this held at the Sejong Arts Center? Was there an audience? Was it inside or outside? If inside did they book a hall? If outside, whose attention were they trying to get? This makes no sense to me at all.

Currently reading:

"Hell" by Yasutaka Tsutsui