[EDITORIALS]No respect for teachersTeachers’ authority has been increasingly challenged by parents. Among 173 cases that the Korea Federation of Teacher’s Associations had received on defiance of a teacher’s authority last year, the largest number of cases, 52, were parents’ challenging of teacher’s authority, which has increased by 30 percent from the previous year.
Many cases were beyond common sense, such as parents slapping teachers at school and sending complaints to the local education offices and the media, slandering the teachers. A significant number of cases were parents’ resistance toward teachers who scolded their children. As a result, teachers were seriously hurt and could not properly guide their students.
Today’s trend has been drastically changed from our traditional concept about a teacher, referred to in a saying, “Do not even step on a teacher’s shadow.”
What will these children learn and what kind of persons will they be if their parents hit and curse teachers who try to help their children to realize their misbehavior? Without respect for their teachers, how will they learn to respect their parents and continue our society’s traditions?
This society cannot escape the almost certain fate of becoming a group of shallow and impolite people.
The unstable status of private school teachers who are employed by the school foundation is another problem. Twenty-four cases were about private school teacher’s unstable status, such as being fired without proper reasons and being forced to retire after maternity leave.
About 25 percent of the total 410,000 teachers are working at private schools. The revision to the private school law ignored guarantees of the status of private school teachers. The government and the governing party should focus on protecting private school teachers’ status more than on allowing outside figures onto school boards.
The Education Ministry also does not properly react to the defiance of a teacher’s authority. The ministry should present ways to protect teachers’ legitimate rights.
Teachers should work hard to be respected by students and parents. Students learn a lot from teachers. Thus, students and parents are very disappointed when a teacher’s personality and ability are insufficient.
Educational organizations should discipline themselves as well and fire problem teachers to make more respectable schools in Korea.