"Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in your schools are the work of many generations, produced by enthusiastic effort and infinite labor in every country of the world. All this is put into your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it, and one day faithfully hand it to your children. Thus do we mortals achieve immortality in the permanent things which we create in common." - Albert Einstein

Friday, November 18, 2016

Participating in a Rally Versus Attending Class

Students are staging protests in the United States and in the Philippines. In the US, pupils are unhappy with the results of the presidential election, while in the Philippines, the youth are expressing their outrage against the burial of a former dictator in a cemetery meant for heroes. How some school administrators in the US respond to these rallies is somewhat different from those in the Philippines. Students seemed to be encouraged to join protests in the Philippines while in the US, students are not.

In the Philippines:

Above copied from Rappler

In the US:

Above copied from WTOP News
Students have the right to express their rights as well as frustrations. However, these must be voluntary and not encouraged by school officials and teachers. Excusing absences for those who attend demonstrations is one thing, cancelling classes is different. Stating that there are "bigger lessons to be learned outside the classroom now" means only one thing: One is imposing one's political beliefs on the students. This is blatantly wrong.

We need a citizenry that is actively participating in politics. If US president-elect Trump suddenly dissolves the Department of Education and in so doing, denies the states the aid necessary to meet the needs of poor and disabled students, we need the voice of everyone. If Philippines president Duterte suddenly suspends the writ of habeas corpus unjustifiably, protests are necessary. Going out into the streets is clearly a way citizens can directly address the government. These specific cases may indeed be providing better lessons outside the classroom.

Trump is the newly elected president. He has not acted as president yet. In the Philippines, Marcos has been dead for several decades now. I simply do not see any lessons here that are better than one could learn inside a classroom.


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