The effects of indiscipline in schools on teachers To the Editor
Guyana Chronicle
November 19, 2001

THE current upsurge of matters relating to indiscipline in schools should cause great concern to all educators in Guyana.

personnel have rallied to the aid of the victims of the dam breach. It is a lesson in what "government for the people" is all about.

Indisciplined behaviours have always existed. However, the methods used to deal with this problem have been changing rapidly over time, and as a result are impacting negatively on our education system, thus, creating havoc.

Years ago, educators were given the support of parents and officials within the education system to exercise their authority in combating problems of indiscipline, for example, writing lines and flogging. Today, teachers are being rebuked, looked upon, disrespected, beaten and even taken to court for trying to maintain discipline in schools. Teachers are called and viewed by society as abusers when they seek to reinforce discipline. For example, a student may demonstrate inappropriate behaviour in school such as rudeness, substance abuse, defacing school property or using indecent language in the presence of teachers. When teachers respond to such behaviours by taking necessary action (s), the parent and student cry abuse and are even given support by others in authority.

It is fair to say that the current methods used or implemented such as cleaning the schoolís compound, wiping windows and suspension as forms of punishment to combat indiscipline in schools presently are ineffective. It is time for us as educators to review these methods urgently, if we want to improve the quality of human resources in our country. Let us not eliminate all those methods that were used before in the olden days that were tested and proven effective. Let us compare the individuals we need in our schools and society. Letís not pattern ourselves after developed countries such as the USA, but letís emulate patterns of training children that will enhance our society. If we consider the path that developed countries namely USA has taken, we would realise that it has resulted in lowered standards of morals and discipline.

The constitution clearly recognises the rights of the child but failed to define the rights of teachers. It is no wonder our qualified and experienced teachers are migrating in large numbers to places where they are given more credit for their efforts to curb indiscipline. Should the ineffective methods continue to be fully implemented, highly qualified and experienced teachers who have remained will soon vacate their positions here and seek greener pastures. Even though they may have indisciplined student we are sure that the financial gains are rewarding enough and that better systems of punishment are in place. Furthermore, the rights of teachers are better represented.

Our Teachersí Union needs to play a more significant role in fostering the authority of a Teacher in light of discipline or indiscipline, since officials within the education system do not support them. Yet these same officials demand that teachers give of their best and maintain discipline within the school system.
Concerned Teachers