8 November 2012

Uganda: Just Writting - Is It Punishment or Wounded Ego?


One out of five people I talk to uses the word 'fake' in its true form. The word fake is used as an adjective, noun or verb to mean the falseness of something, or something that is not genuine.

I cannot count the number of times I have been referred to as 'fake' or heard of a colleague being referred to as 'fake' because they have failed to live up to others' expectations.

Last week, I spent a great part of it in anguish. A simple event led to a confrontation, which nearly led to the suspension of one of my most profound colleagues. This young lady had allegedly been told to shift from the seat she had occupied during prep time.

I do not know why, but normally when teachers make such decisions, the student in question must have been talking or disrupting prep. She refused to shift. Honestly, in my opinion, her relocation could have saved her a lot of trouble.

It would have saved her parent the embarrassment, but the teacher had already been rubbed the wrong way and, therefore, this girl had to be expelled. She is only allowed to come and sit for her final exams.

The teacher was 'fake' because she acted unprofessionally; she let her wounded ego get the best of her. I could not believe that someone can be expelled shortly before his or her finals. It is a time when students fight to keep their heads above water as they read hard in preparation for their exams.

Wouldn't it have been fair to listen to the student's reason for refusal? Shouldn't the punishment have been backed by reason and not emotion? In all fairness the student deserved a second chance to know that her insolence could ruin her.

I think it would have been better for the teacher to ignore her apparent embarrassment at being disobeyed by a mere student. She could have handled the situation without involving the parent. Whatever happened to a time when punishments were learning experiences.

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