The sorry plight of teachers


Al-Madina newspaper

A TEACHER slapped a student in one of the private schools of Al-Ahsa as the latter was laughing in the classroom. A classmate filmed the incident and shared it through social media. As it went viral and reached the Ministry of Education, it immediately ordered either firing of the teacher or ending his contract. Not only that but to also barring him from teaching in the future. All these details were mentioned in Al-Madina newspaper on Jan. 23.

It is obvious that the teacher committed a mistake by hitting the student as there could be other alternative punishments. It is illogical to immediately fire the teacher only because of a moment of anger he had. That decision is very cruel. This is besides the fact that that this teacher is not the only one affected by such decision but also the lives of his family members are also devastated.

On the other hand, we have all seen how the Ministry of Education instantly reacted to the incident and treating the student as the victim. The ministry rushed to take the decision which seems to be a result of the accounts and hashtags on Twitter exaggerating the case and making it appear as if all teachers hit their students’ day and night! We find the ministry, however, effectively reacting to such incidents and by the students’ side while other incidents happened in the past wherein teachers were victims and physically attacked by their students. Based on that, I believe that students are the ones spoiled and having all the decisions by their side while teachers are left on the receiving end.

There is a message I would like to deliver to the audience: Teachers are indeed a crucial element to building nations and generations. That means teachers have rights that should be granted to them by the Ministry of Education and the society itself. I truly hope to see teachers having their full financial and employees’ rights. I also wish that they enjoy special treatment in various government and private agencies through the special teacher’s card issued by their association or authority which I always hoped to see for teachers just like the Saudi Journalists Association and the Saudi Council of Engineers.

Finally, there were many comments regarding the ministry’s decision but there was one comment that to me personally stood out of the rest. It said: “if teachers of the past were punished for hitting the students then according to what is happening today, probably some of them would end up life imprisoned!”