Saturday, February 25, 2006

KwandongBrian's got a badge

My father was a cop, my grandfather was a cop; even my wife is a cop. Finally I get to be one, too.

Well, probably not, but some teachers may soon be packing a badge.

Okay, even that is stretching it a little. But, there is some current legislation that could give teachers the right to subpoena parents of trouble-causing students; summoning then in to answer questions.

Now, teaching is my business so I pay closer attention to education -related news. Still, when I think about corruption in Korea, I first think about police officers and teachers. Combining the two professions seems like a bit of a mistake. Here is a post I wrote in early 2005 about a Seoul teacher accepting bribes.

Some at the prosecutor's office share these concerns:
``There is a high possibility that teachers, who are not professional, could abuse their power that includes the authority of investigation and sending suspects to the prosecution,Â’Â’ a spokesman of the prosecution said, requesting anonymity.

Probably, this concern is of less importance than it seems. What I see happening, though, is regular law enforcement officials saying, "Hey, the teachers are on the beat in the schools; we will focus our attention elsewhere", changing the concept from assisting law-enforcement to being solely in charge.

Canadian teachers complain, probably with good reason, of being overworked, being nickel-and-dimed with a few more extra tasks each year. Korean teachers typically have twice the number of students and at least some have early classes; starting at 7:30.

Finally, I know what goes on in my classroom. I miss very little; no one uses phones or plays around in my class. On the other hand, I know almost nothing about what goes on outside of class. I have some excuses; I don't speak much Korean and my office is in Yangyang, while most of my classes are in Gangneung. Still, even Korean teachers don't normally patrol the hallways; what are they going to see?

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