Sunday, March 27, 2011

Education News Roundup

1) Covered by both the Times and Herald, the Korean education community reacts to the latest attempt to clarify and define strategies to replace corporal punishment of students from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. The boards of four education offices, Seoul, Gyeonggi, Gangwon and North Jeolla, have decided to reject the ministry's new policy, claiming the disciplinary measures "inflict physical pain on students and may violate their rights."

What are these draconian measures? Lists the Herald: "proposed alternatives include push-ups, walking laps around a track and standing at the back of the classroom." Sez the Times: "The measures considered as indirect punishment were running laps, standing in the back of the classroom or being sent to be alone in a separate room."

What's wrong with this picture? I'll grant you that beating students with broomsticks is indefensible, but hasn't the pendulum swung a bit too far if you can't even send them to time out?

2) In response to the devastating earthquake that struck Japan on March 11, the government will begin an earthquake-readiness inspection on school buildings nationwide. According to the Korea Herald, the last such inspection was in 2008, following the Sichuan, China earthquake that killed 70,000 people.
On Friday, the ministry conveyed a set of school safety guidelines, including those for building structure, during a meeting with school officials across the nation.
Under the plan, local educational offices have to complete the inspection on all the school buildings by May 20 and submit renewed safety plans.

3) Dads take interest in kids’ education, reads the top headline in the JoongAng Daily's Education section. The story reports on mostly middle school "Father's Committees" which get involved in curriculum and extracurricular activities such as sports clubs and the like.

Several dads interviewed talk about how they now spend more time with their kids, feel closer to them, etc. But the money quote, at least for me, was this:
“Fathers tend to speak frankly about students, so sometimes it’s easier to talk to the fathers rather than mothers,” said Lee Jin-ee, a teacher at the school.
Put another way, mothers have an unwavering belief that their child is special, gifted, and a genius, and if the child is not at the top of the class, it's all the school's fault. Father, as Robert Young would say, knows best.


조안나 said...

so... if the schools aren't earthquake safe, then what??

Tuttle said...

Well, according to the article, schools need a safety "plan". Also they are trying to make sure new construction is earthquake-ready.
Dunno the status of the new gym at my school, but I'll look into it.

kevin.thurston said...

i've been encouraged by homeroom teachers and parents to smack students. and, indeed, i no longer stare in shock like i used to when a student does get cracked by a teacher. but, 1. as a foreigner and 2. based on my own personal beliefs, i've never hit a student. personally, i'm worried i'd go to far ^ ^

George Bailey Sees The World! said...

My school would not last long in an Earthquake, I'm afraid. I leave my classroom window open right by my desk. I'm on the second floor, but you can bet your ass I'll be throwing the little kids out the window right before I take the plunge. I'm on the second floor.