Public Education

People are difficult to govern because they have too much knowledge.- Lao-Tzu

There was a day at Uni that my teacher asked: ‘Why is public education so poor in Brazil?’

We were discussing this statement, and that made me think for a moment. So everybody had their reasons to justify our poor education:

– Teachers don’t get paid enough

– Teachers don’t know how to lead the classroom

– There are just too many students inside the classroom

And so on. I could imagine being in a class with 60 students, I would certainly go nuts. But then I remembered when I was in school and my classroom had 60 students. There were teachers who could not impose respect (isn’t this phrase redundant? but that was what they tried to do, and didn’t succeed because respect is something you conquer, not impose), and there were teachers, who obtained our respect by being different.

Eg. I used to have a teacher who entered the classroom singing. He used to wait for the students to calm down, and while we were calming down he would whistle and draw on the board. Believe it or not, he was a Physics teacher and everybody loved him and respected him.

Back to our discussion about public education, I asked my teacher what were the procedures to be able to teach for the state or the govern and so she answered that we could apply for the test. So I asked: “then … what do they do?’ And she told me that if we get a high score, then you could be accepted. The thing is, I wasn’t completely satisfied with that answer. I coudn’t understand how they could accept a person by their test. What if this person was a lunatic?  Isn’t it that what we were studying along the post graduation course? How people are and what they are able to do? If I want to apply for a job in a company, they might apply a test, but basically what will determine if I will be accepted or not, is my interview.

It just bugged me that they don’t interview the teachers before accepting them. I am a second language teacher and I had interviews, why they do not? There was half of the answer my teacher was looking for. First: they didn’t care who was there to teach, they only cared if the person knew the content they were about to teach. Second: there were no psychological interviews.

And that’s why we have so many cases of-  teacher hits student. I simply cannot understand this procedure. Then I was speaking to one of this teachers, who is also concerned about her students and started looking for help. She told us that the material they provide is not sufficient for them to acknowledge everything they need.

So I saw this quote: People are hard to govern because they have too much knowledge.

And reflecting about this quote I realized that it is true. It is easier to provide a poor material, so they won’t acknowledge everything they need, and let them being dumb. This way it is easier to govern them and induce them to do what the govern wants.

I am glad though that there are teachers worried enough to pursuit knowledge to deal with this reality. I am not teaching at a public school, but I am concerned about what they are doing with this kids, and if I can reach anybody about this matter and open their eyes, then I am already happy.

Here is a video to illustrate that this sad reality happens not only in Brazil:


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