So I haven't written for a while as the week has just flown by and it has just carried on relatively normal. Well as normal as it gets. Yesterday though was when I had another one of those cheesy epiphany 'this is why I'm here' moments.
It had been a pretty normal day except it was way too hot! In the afternoon, the teacher who is the one I share classes with, Samuel was ready for an afternoon of caning as be returned the midterm science tests back to BS5. Now I will post a picture of an example of one and you will understand somewhere along the line, this education system is an absolute nightmare. From experiencing it I think it's a chain of disastrous events. First, they are learning in their second language which they are never actually taught properly. Secondly, they are scared of learning in case of the cane all the time. They are caned for not understanding so how they expect them to learn I have no idea. Thirdly, the quality of teaching is shocking. There are no qualifications except completing school necessary to become a teacher... And finally, they do not know how to revise because they have never been taught and there are so many distractions with stuff at home like their chores they leave homework very night until 9pm and don't understand that for a test you can just study 2 months of work in one night.
So, anyway, yesterday when returning the tests out of a possible 15 most kids were getting 0 or 1! Pass mark was 10 so for every mark under 10 they got a cane. Not just a bit of a cane, they had to bend over and put their hands on the ground with their bums in the air. It's really sick. The teacher after we had called a meeting about reducing caning on Monday (fuelled by our boss saying he agreed that the caning was not helping the learning and should be reduced) Samuel asked me what I think he should do. This is how the conversation went:
Me: 'I think they need help learning. If they understood what they were being taught they would have retained something. I'll do extra help classes and if they choose to come then they are trying. If not they should be punished but caning isn't going to help them when they quite clearly dont understand'. Now after speaking to my friend who lives here I realise I could have got fired for this but I wasn't going to sit there and watch kids scream literally and cry in pain.
Samuel: 'But don't you think they are not learning and studying at home so they deserve to be caned'
Me: 'They deserve a chance to prove to you that they want to learn and want to understand. Caning is just going to scare them off'
Samuel: 'OK if that's what you think then I will respect it.'
So, this is where it gets sicker. I understood it as he had agreed. He then proceeds to make a child bend over in front of him and swings the cane back right behind his head, the kid is shaking in fear, Samuel turns around to look at me, I stand up to go over and he brings the cane down missing the kid. Sick sick man. I sit down thinking thank god he didn't then he goes to bring the cane back again right behind his head except this time he brings it down with the loudest whip right on his bum. Now the kid is SCREAMING and crying and on the floor. I get up to which Samuel turns around and says they all just get 2... So well done Siwan you saved them from 8 of these each but you can't do anything else. Each child gets 2 and I can't do anything. It makes me feel so helpless and like I want to take all the pain away from the kids when they're crying but if I do anymore than I'm doing I'm going to get fired. I've already more than overstepped the mark especially standing up for the kids and undermining the teacher in front of the class.
But then for the final part, one of the kids can not stop crying. Samuel tells him to be quiet and he can't. So he gets caned right on the back of his head. Excuse me for swearing but holy shit there were tears in my eyes and he was trying to grab the cane. So I got up and moved to protect him and tell Samuel to stop. He had his 2 and took them with no problems. Let him cry, he's in pain.
I can honestly say, I am doing everything in my power to hp these kids but it's so deep rooted in the system and these teachers that there's only so far I can go. You still feel helpless watching it though. I want to take every cane for them because there is really no need especially when the teacher is completely useless.
And so last night I felt a little emotional but pleased that I had done something to make it better.
Over and out,