Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Trickle down

There's nothing wrong with public school teachers selling longganisa or Avon products or tutoring kids. The problem is when they do this in school. What Norma Dollaga claims as dignified, honest, and creative becomes embarrassing, coercive, and trite when done within the school premises. Homeroom period becomes "selling time," depriving students of that extra hour or so needed to discuss class business.

The bigger problem is when the teachers force the kids to buy. Ask any public school parent and they will tell you about teachers requiring kids to buy merienda from them or withholding test papers until the purchase whatever it is they're selling.

The Department of Education issued a memo years ago allowing teacher's associations to own school cafeteria coops to augment their salaries. This has since morphed into teachers requiring all students to buy meals from them regardless whether they bring their own baon or not.

Teachers' salaries are, indeed, very low, but calling their illegal and unethical stop-gap measures "dignified, honest, and creative" reeks of reaching. Blame the government or the economy, but don't praise these oppressed teachers for passing down the oppression to their poorer students.

5 comments:

alwaysanxious said...

Are you also aware that other teachers use their students as their "sales assistant"? These students deliver/sell their adviser's products to other sections (taga-rasyon sa ibang klase na hindi nagtitinda ang adviser). In return, they get a bit commission or plus points. Hindi lang pinepwersa ang mga estudyante, kinakasangkapan pa.

missingpoints said...

Sadly, that doesn't surprise me.

I sympathize with them, really, but we have to take into consideration the fact that these kids aren't rich. In the more depressed areas most are probably poorer than the teachers.

Anonymous said...

I might even find it a little ok if it's food their selling, at least the kids will be able to eat whatever they get their money into. What bugs me is those who force them to buy toys... ipangkakain nila dapat yun eh.

Jose Jean Paolo said...

I have an inkling as to the why, and I really can't say that I blame them BUT I shall draw the line where they start to mix their source of alternative income with their responsibilities as teachers. If selling products influences a student's grades that is inexcusable in my book... though it does teach something to the student, I question the lesson.

missingpoints said...

Exactly. I have no problem with them having other means of income. It only becomes wrong when they start using the coercive powers of their position to sell stuff to kids and parents who have even less money than them.