It pays to treat students with a pinch of salt

The old education model where a teacher was this all-knowing smart fellow who walked into a class full of young timid empty brains is no longer in place. Those were the days of a one way system. Teachers taught, they also evaluated and had the last word on almost everything.
 Allan Brian Ssenyonga, Editor, Education Times
Allan Brian Ssenyonga, Editor, Education Times

The old education model where a teacher was this all-knowing smart fellow who walked into a class full of young timid empty brains is no longer in place. Those were the days of a one way system. Teachers taught, they also evaluated and had the last word on almost everything.

This week, Education Times looks at the question of whether students should be allowed to evaluate their teachers. One can as well argue that they should be allowed to do this since they spend more time in front of them.

Just like in many other situations, the end users of a service should be allowed to evaluate it. A customer can comment on food he is served at the restaurant. A reader can send feedback on a story they read in the day’s newspaper so why shouldn’t a student be allowed to say, this teacher is good at their job or they simply do not know what they are doing.

Students should be treated as mature people and their word should always be considered. It is condescending to assume that because you are a teacher and they are students then they know nothing. It is like saying a patient should not tell a doctor anything.

We cannot talk of empowering the future generation without letting them to be heard. If we are preparing them to live in a society that values accountability then this is the place to start. Let us teach them that they matter and that they are part of the education process at all times.

We must do away with the colonial mindset that was designed to create passive non questioning subjects. This is the 21st century and we need people who are involved in what will affect them for ages – their education.

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