By Their Own Right / Fernando Damaso

School courtyard

In its campaign to restore lost ethical, civil and moral values, the government is emphasizing the important role to be played by educators and the family. While it is good that responsibility for this is being returned to the latter, it is something that should never have been taken away in the first place. In its desire to monopolize everything, including conscience, the state took upon itself the ridiculous task of creating a “New Man,” a being that would respond to its ideology and policies. It was task in which, like so many others, it has failed.

When discussing teachers, it is difficult to know where to start. First of all, what teachers are we talking about? Most of our educators were trained in the same system, one which could hardly preserve values since it relied on those who, with rare exceptions, did not themselves possess them.

These are people who practice double standards, who participate in forced promotions, who sell test results and grades, who use the classroom to teach official dogma.

This contributes to the formation of human beings who are easily manipulated, people without appropriate standards, who feel obligated to think and behave in accordance with the majority in order to avoid getting themselves or their parents into trouble.

This is made worse by the politicization of the classroom and by schools which allow students to be used in despicable acts, known as “repudiation rallies,” against citizens who do not agree with government policy, evidence of which is all too common.

Education is not one of the sectors that enjoy financial advantages, which causes many teachers to leave to find work in tourism, joint ventures and self-employment, all of which offer better working conditions and lifestyles.

Additionally, few students choose careers in teaching. When they do, it is often because they have no other options. The fact that a policeman receives a much higher monthly salary than an educator speaks volumes about the absurdities that exist in our society.

While it is true that it is essential to restore these lost values, in a situation with widespread poverty and difficulty — one without a clear pathway out — it becomes a very difficult and time consuming task.

The family and the school should once again occupy the positions they had always held in their own right. But, in order to fulfill their responsibilities, they must overcome the disastrous state in which we now find ourselves.

4 March 2014