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Monday, November 19, 2012
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Parents who need counselling…

What a relief that the idea of giving MP's children special rights of admission to schools has been cancelled!

I would not have been over 6 years as a Principal/Head in Bangladeshi-run English medium schools, if I did not love your children to bits - but they can be very naughty! It is no secret that a fair percentage of 'Boro Lok' (Big People) here have used unfair means to reach that status and so you can imagine what some of their children are like! Some consider cheating, lying and bullying - maybe via anonymous calls on mobiles - as normal! Stealing from the school library the winning folder of last year's project on 'Rivers of Bangladesh' and taking it home to photocopy can happen in Class 2…. In one Class 5 the bigger girls got the smaller ones to do their homework and an excellent Form Prefect complained that girls from another class were entering her classroom to teach her girls how to cheat!

When a Class 6 girl stole the exam fee money from a teacher's bag and hid it, to punish her for not entering her for the Bengali Poetry Reading Competition, I felt out of my depth and reported this to my Owner/Principal. She called in the parents who then visited me. “Why did you tell her before you told me?” the father said. “Do you know who I am? I will take you to court!” These parents needed family counselling to see why their only child behaved so - and should have been grateful. So often it is not the kids' fault…

Thus, in too many schools, offences are swept under the carpet for fear that parents will use their 'influence' to get teachers dismissed because any discipline is seen as prejudice - as is refusing to make tests so easy that any pupil can get top marks! Thank God, schools will not be faced with the prospect of even more parents to threaten them - and other pupils - if they do not get what they want! This cloud has passed but those that remain remind us of the extra support teachers need if they are to do their job properly.

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