Saturday, May 7, 2011

Corruption at Schools

Many people do not put the word School and Corruption together. Many do not associate school which is considered "inviolable" with an illegal and despicable act such as corruption. Many of us, parents, would refuse to acknowledge that the people who are in charge of educating our children would be deceitful, let alone be involved in such an act as corruption.

I am writing this post following the unplanned and disgraceful exit of two male expatriate teachers from an international school in the region (I will maintain anonymity of the school and the concerned teachers for personal reasons). These teachers were known to ask gifts such as phones, money and other handy things from their students in exchange for better grades. Unfortunately, one wise student happened to record the conversation he had with the teachers on one occasion. The teachers made their requests known to the student with no knowledge that their conversation was being recorded. After hitting a deal with the teachers, the student reported to his parents who presented the recording to the school administration. The administration was shocked and to preserve the reputation of the school (which is excellent by the way), the school sent both teachers on exit. They finally left Saudi Arabia back to their country less than 1 month after this incident.

This is just an example of what happens in some private international schools. If we take a closer look at the term "corruption at school", we would realise that there is more to it. Many are the parents who know what is happening at these private schools, but are not willing to talk about it openly. In a book written by Armand Fusco entitled "School Corruption", he says " School corruption takes many forms, but it falls into three main categories: 1. Cheating and deceit, 2. Waste and mismanagement, and 3. Fraud and stealing."

Let us take a look at category 1:

Many teachers at international schools (in Jeddah for example) would tell you that they have been under pressure to either retest their pupils or give them the page numbers from where their tests would be set. Sometimes, teachers go as far as giving extra unmerited points just so that some of their pupils get good grades. Why? Many parents (especially the Saudis) want their children to have FULL MARKS. If this does not happen, then the teacher is a bad one. I have witnessed cases where the teacher was approached on several occasions to retest the student; not another set of questions but the same one that the student had seen earlier, just to please a demanding parent.

In reality, only about 40-50% of pupils merit their grades. What happens to the other 50-60% who are promoted to the next level without achieving the standard of the previous level? Who is being deceived here? Is the school deceiving the parents?

Many undeserving pupils take excellent or near-excellent reports back home. They are promoted to the next level the following academic year and the school boasts of its higher percent of achievement. Isn't this cheating? This practice is deceiving everybody; the children, the parents, and the community as a whole.

The endpoint is the total corruption of the word EDUCATION. Instead of teaching our children how to think, we teach them to memorise and expect to sit for the same tests as many as three times just to have a good grade on report cards or booklets. No...our children deserve more.

1 comment:

  1. année après année je suis ébahie par le système scolaire saoudien et le peu de travail scolaire que fournissent les élèves ainsi que les bonnes notes distribuées à tous.aussi bien dans le public que dans le privé. le but est non pas ce que l'élève a appris mais quelle note il a eu même si la note n'est pas mérité.
    chaque année j'assiste interloquée au spectacles d'adolescents qui passent leur bac alors que durant le mois précédant cette épreuve ils s'amusaient plus qu'ils ne travaillaient. et le bouquet ils ont eu leur bac. quand je pense qu'au même moment les bacheliers en France deviennent comme des moines pour préparer le bac et pas que, dans plusieurs pays le mois précédent le bac est un mis très chargé de travail.

    personellement, après un essai de 6 mois en maternelle et 6 autres en primaire j'ai retiré mes enfants de l'école pour les instruire moi-même ( avec l'aide de mon mari) grâce aux cours par correspondance de l'éducation nationale française( CNED). j'ai dû me recycler dans certaines matières mais ce fut avec plaisir. cela fait maintenant 10 ans que nous suivons ces cours. mon fils vient de passer son brevet en juin au lycée français de jeddah et l'a eu avec mention bien.


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