Category Archives: Education Reforms

The Hsinbei’s Hope Sprouting Plan Helped Nearly a Thousand Students to Go to School

A helping hand, for those children who want to get educated but are having difficulties affording it themselves, off of the Newspapers, translated…

The city of Hsinbei implemented the “Hope Sprouting Education Plan” last year, matching the hundreds of cram schools in the districts, to give the students from elementary to high school who are from bad economic circumstances a whole year’s worth of tuition free learning help sessions, including the academic subjects as well as music, abacus, mental calculations, and many other skills, this year, there were, close to a thousand students who’d signed up for it.

Yu who graduated from middle school because of this free tutoring program was successful in getting into the art track in high school, Ming who graduated from elementary school received free English help sessions, and gotten into the G.T. programs of middle school, and received a full scholarship.

The Department of Education pointed out, that any students who have a household registry in Hsinbei City, and qualified for low income sustenance, or other qualifications, can all apply for the “Hope Sprout Education Plan”, and the period of assistance lasts from September of this year to June of next year.

The head of Social Services agency under the Department of Education, Huang stated, that since the first year of this plan, it’d helped 500 students, and this year, it’d, almost doubled to 964 children, and other than the academic help, the system also included dance, chess, piano, music theory, and art, along with other forms of talents, and one student can apply for one course.

Yu who just graduated from middle school this year, showed an immense interest in drawing since he was young, in his second year of middle school, he’d decided to take the exams to go into a high school with the art trainings, but his family economic couldn’t allow, so he was thinking of choosing an alternative track, but under this plan, he was trained formally by an art studio, and, this year, he got into the art department of a certain public high school.

Another student, Ming, who just entered into his first year of middle school this year, being from a single parent household, although he lived under poverty stricken means, he’d kept his grades in the front of his class, he wanted to improve his English skills, his mom filed for the application of the Sprouting Plan, so her son’s English performance excelled, and he was able to test into the GT English class of a certain private high school, and received full-scholarship too.

So, these assistance programs are working wonders for these students who are willing and able learners, but lacked the monetary advantage, and this program lets them pursue their studies, with no worries of money, which allowed them to excel in the subjects they’re good in, which gives them a way, to pull themselves, out of their poverty stricken backgrounds, and this is a good program.

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Filed under Cost of Living, Education, Education Levels, Education Reforms, The Education of Children

Jia-Tong Lee: the Elementary School Education Lacked the Qualities, Harder to Get Caught Up as the Children Get Older

This, is how not-caught-yet the college level English majors are here, from the Newspapers, translated…

The foreign language majors couldn’t even differentiate the be-verbs, the children from the distant regions couldn’t even write out the twenty-six English alphabets… “You must start quality control in education starting in the first grade”.

The education conference that was held yesterday disclosed how the basic knowledge of elementary school level students lacked quality, and that as the children grow older, they’d fallen behind more and more, and it would be, harder, for them to get caught up again; and there were middle school graduates from the distant areas that had flunked on the national English and mathematics exam, with the grade of C.

The honorary professor from Chinghwa University, Lee suggested, that from the first grades, the children MUST have the basics to build up from, and told the instructors that they not give up on any child, because when children get into middle school, it would be difficult, for them, to get caught up again; at the same time, the instructors should teach the students using the different learning styles that fitted them best, devise different materials, to give the different examinations; and that this remedial teaching method should not be just on the tutoring basis, but to make sure that the students have the basic skills levels.

Lee said, that the education forum in Taiwan is quite well, but, there are two major problems, one, the children from distant regions couldn’t pass the fundamental level exams, and even for the students who managed to pass the entrance exams, they may not have the strong basics to build up on, the primary reason for this was because there’s no quality control in the elementary years, and the examinations only has the more difficult questions, and skips all the basics.

And so, from this, you can see, how much problem IS in the reforms in education, and, it’s because of this low level of understanding, because the teachers can’t possibly keep an eye on all 20+kids, and so, naturally, some of those children who have difficulties are bound to be overlooked, and so, children are still getting left behind…

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Filed under "Professional" Opinions, Awareness, Education, Education Reforms, Lessons, Life, Observations, Perspectives

The Values are the Key Qualities of Education

From the Front Page Sections, translated…

An American friend forwarded a short film of how machines are used to chop off trees, he’d told me with this heartfelt manner, that way back when, when he’d gone to Alaska to work as a lumberjack to pay his own tuition, he’d worked from dawn ‘til dusk, and can only chop one tree down; now, the machines can chop off a ton of trees in a matter of few short minutes, after the trees were chopped, they’re immediately sawed up into normal lengths, and transported with a specialized truck down the mountainsides.  A machine can make up for five hundred men, and it’s easy to operate, it’s totally opposite of how much he’d sweated from when he worked back in the days.

He said, that even now, the sports broadcasters are changed to using robots, because humans are naturally biased, in the international competitions, one may get too patriotic and lose her/his neutrality; in the competitions of the teams in one’s own country, you’d rooted for the other team on your own, but, robots don’t have this sort of emotional issues, it could report the stories as they’d come to it, with precision and neutrality.  He’d asked, “if everything we do now, is replaced by the machines, then, what’s the use of humans?”

This, is a good question, and so, in my course, “Brain and Creativity”, I’d shown this video to my students, and asked them how they think.  I thought, that the students would raise their hands to participate, because no matter how good the machines are, they’re still, all created by man, just like how in those fighting novels, no matter how good the apprentices got, they can never beat the masters who’d trained them.  What makes humans better than machines is in that we have knowledgeable thoughts, and, although the machines can have the abilities for statistical learning, but it couldn’t measure up to the humans’ abilities.  I thought that the students would realize, that the 21st Century would not be a competition of physical power, but of brain power, like how in “The Lost Crusade”, when the Arab ran towards him with a gun, Harrison Ford has no other option, shrugged his shoulders, took out his pistol, and, although using a gun in a knife fight wasn’t at all fair, but under the circumstances, there’s just the way of using technology to beat the traditions, one bullet solved that crisis.

I couldn’t imagine, that the lecture hall fell silent, the students all watched to see how I reacted, (not like how we were, lowered our heads, not daring to look up at the teacher, they’re now, staring at me, without any reactions.)  I couldn’t help but recall the words that Cheng-Ning Yang stated, to criticize the students of Taiwan.  But, the Taiwanese students aren’t unintelligent, lazy, or not putting enough mind into what they do, just look at how they’d won the biggest of prizes at the international creative competitions.  They are NOT showing enough care or concern for anything that doesn’t involve them, plus now, we’re all focused on the minor blessings of life, the students were misled to believe, that so long as they have it made right now, they don’t care about their futures, they have a different value systems compared to us.

But, why is there this difference of values?  We were all raised, in Asian communities, it’s just that the stories we’d read, we’d heard are different compared to the younger generations’ now, we didn’t grow up being told stories of “Snow White”, “Cinderella”, or “Sleeping Beauty”, I’d heard the stories of history, of how the stories of how our parents carried us on their back, as the Japanese invaded into our towns.  Our parents taught us, there’s NO trials that are too awful to endure through, the most precious, the ugliest side of human nature will all show up.  A day after my older sister was born, the Japanese invaded our town, my mother took her into the mountains to hide out, my sister had a fever, the elderly man from next door walked eighty kilometers from the mountain to the herbal shops, to bring it back up the mountains, so my sister could be treated, saved my sister’s life.  My parents’ escape experiences made us realize, that, “as the nests got tipped over, there would be NO eggs that survived”, and we’d felt more responsible toward the wellbeing of our nation, other people’s assistances, our parents’ gratitude, all of these, helped shaped and formed our systems of values.

The most basic goal of education is logical thinking and the right kinds of values, the books we’d read when we were children, the things we’d come in contact with when we were younger, will help shape our views of country, of our own lives, of our goals too.  The elementary and middle school years are the time when the personalities are slowly forming, and, we shouldn’t sacrifice the basic qualities of education, because of the grades or the diplomas.

This just shows, how my stats instructor’s words, “Focus on getting an education, NOT just a degree” is still important, but, because in schools, they now long longer TEACH any values, like how we should treat one another, and, we don’t take the time, to observe, how people are treating each other, that, is why this world is having so many problems, because of this carelessness, and, the professor was right on how we NEED to focus on the values that we are teaching the younger generations, instead of focusing on the grades that our kids are making…

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Filed under Being Exposed, Cause & Effect, Child Development/Education of Children, Education, Education Reforms, Lessons, Moral Responsibilities, Reforms in Education, Values, Wake Up Calls

In Order to Save Up on the Funding, the Public Kindergartens Don’t Plan on Adding the Classes, Instead, They’d Called in Substitute Teachers to Watch the Classes

The quality of education IS being sacrificed here, from the Newspapers, translated…

The mayor, Ke, a while ago, on the council meetings pointed out how the Department of Education “had taken close considerations” of how they needed to increase the number of classes in the public kindergartens, that if there’s a need of teacher there, they will be hiring the substitutes first; the Department of Education had planned to add the number of classes of the public kindergarten systems to forty, and that this new law might halt the original plans.

The head of the Department of Education, Tang said the public to private kindergarten ratio is at close to 3:7, but Ke’s bigger goal was to change the ratio of the public to private kindergartens to 7:3, pointed towards the developments of the not-for-profit kindergartens co-owned and co-operated by the public and the private systems, and had asked for the assessments from the Department of Education, in the limited assets of the government, and the limited spaces, to continue put forth the increase in the number of public kindergarten classes.

The Department of Education pointed out, that in order to lessen the strains on the adults, the four-year public kindergarten system is planning on getting more classes, in 2012, the classes were increased by 30, in 2013, to 33, 2014, to 42, in just three short years, the total cost of this had amounted to over 179 million dollars N.T., and the original plan for this year’s increasing the classes to forty may have been halted.

The Department of Education disclosed, that for every new class in the public kindergarten system, they’d needed one million dollars N.T. to set up the classrooms, that if there needed to be an increase of forty classes, then, it would cost the local governments forty million dollars N.T.

And, the two instructors per class will cost $80,000N.T.s, per month, and, if there are forty classes, times the twelve months of wages, the first year of personnel costs would be up to $38.4 million N.T., but this still had yet to include the retirement pensions of these teachers.

Based off of understanding, the Department of Education recently asked along the experts, to set up a plan, to “save on the expenses”, first, they’d set up that the two-year-old classes has two caretakers, the 3 to 5 group, with two teachers, and now, they’d changed the 3-year-old classes, to have two childcare workers, it would save up on the wages, and they need not worry about the retirement pensions.

And so, apparently, this PLAN of setting up publicly owned kindergarten is still NOT at all, well-thought out, first, there’s the issues of teacher to student ratio, then, there’s the amount of money they should pay the teachers or the caretakers, and, this, is just not at all, well-thought-out enough, and so, the quality of education still gets SACRIFICED!!!

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Filed under Awareness, Child Development/Education of Children, Cost of Living, Education, Education Reforms, Expectations, Legislature, Life, News Stories, Reforms in Education

Setting Up the Half Government-Sponsored Schools, the Little Children Became Piggies Waiting to be Slaughtered

On standardized testing for the younger kids, from the Newspapers, translated…

“The first item, seeing my child get pushed into the testing place for English qualifications is like pushing him into the slaughterhouse.”  This was, from two years ago, when a parent took her own third-grade child to taking the English qualification exams, and afterwards, the child came out, with this beaten look on her face, it’d made her regretted her actions to date.

This child had been placed in dual-language institution since she was in the kindergarten years, in order to get into a private middle school, every year, she’d taken endless number of examinations, gave up on the gaming, exercising times that elementary age children had.  And this sort of a scene is, all too familiar to parents of the metropolitan regions.  For many years, how many points above the passing grade of the English examination meant how high one’s English abilities were, this, had always been a myth for the students, as well as the parents too; but, after so many examinations, did the level of skill in English really improve for the students of Taiwan?

Sixteen years ago, there only a little over ten thousand children who took the examinations, and now, it’d become the activity for ALL the citizens across this nation, there had been, six and a half million students who’d taken the test.

There are one million kids in elementary school right now, and when scoring a high grade on the English exams became their goals of learning, it will surely, destroy the love for learning, and distort the purpose of education.  As this had become the trend today, the Department of Education should think about why they’d allowed this standardized test to extend so far, ten years ago, they’d voted on the inappropriateness of the examinations, and now, are the reasons for the testing convincing?

And so, now, you have kids, sitting at their desks, cramming their books, during off hours, instead of seeing kids, running wild AND free, doing what kids are suppose to be doing, at break time, and that, is all due to this need to make them excel, need for them to better than we are, hello, hello, hello???  You, stupid PARENTS and you god DAMN systems ARE murdering the love of learning for your young, do you not realize that already???

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Filed under Awareness, Being Exposed, Cost of Living, Education, Education Reforms, Reforms in Education, Standardized Testing, Wake Up Calls

Ten-Percent of All Middle School Students in Changhwa May Not Graduate

Shocking statistic, isn’t it???  From the Newspaper, translated…

From the last year middle school students right now, a new implemented rule had been set up: in the seven areas of studies, each and every student must pass at least FOUR, in order to get their diplomas, and, in Changhwa, there is now, an estimated over ten percent of all registered students who won’t be able to reach this marker, the local government suggested lowering the bar, the Department of Education said to “boost the retesting policies”, and all the middle schools all stated, that it was “mission impossible”.

The person in charge of overseeing the middle school education of the Department of Education, Hsu pointed out, that the bars for the students to successfully graduate from middle school being raised to four subjects wasn’t at all strict, that it wouldn’t make it too difficult, for the students to reach, but the local governments and schools, are they implementing the reinstructing on time?  She believed, that the key point lies in whether or not the schools are taking notices of students’ progresses, and whether or not they can offer the academic assistance the students needed in time, instead of waiting until the last minute, at the examinations.

Hsu spoke bluntly, that the learning processes is not clarified until the students’ last year of middle school, the teachers and parents must use an ordinary perspective to examine how the students are performing in class.

She was shocked to find out the conditions in Changhwa, and will get in depth, about how the local governments are implementing the reteaching, the remedial assistance given to the students.

Some of the middle schools would give out hints to the question on the examinations, and when the students still failed to pass, the schools would write the correct answers on the examinations for the students to copy down.

But there are still students who failed, and had stated so bluntly, “I just don’t feel like copying down the right answers!”, making the instructors and school officials who are working so hard, to reduce the number of kids who are flunking down angry.

And so, you can see, that the LOW quality of students that this systems is currently reproducing, can’t you?  Because students are not passing the classes, the schools are lowering the standards, and, guess what that’ll amount to?  This next generation of kids who are out of school, who can’t even do a thing right, and that would do what to the society?  Oh yeah, it’d, ruin this world, but hey, that, is how they make sure that the “performance” of the school looks okay on sheet.

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Filed under Awareness, Coping Mechanisms, Cost of Living, Education Reforms, Reforms in Education, Social Awareness

Overlooked His Being Bullied for a Year, a Handicapped Student Was Walked on a Leash Like a Dog

You have to wonder, Where are the ADULTS who were supposed to keep the school campuses safe for children to learn in???  From the Front Page Sections, translated…

A handicapped student in Taidong had been long-term, physically bullied by three of his classmates, last Friday, they’d put a dog leash around his neck, and walked him like a dog, the members of this student’s family went to the school to ask for some justice, asked the students who’d abused their son to be transferred in three days, or, they’ll take the school to court; the disciplinary official stated, that the officials will use the fitting punishments, but they could NOT force the students to transfer.

The victimized student went to the school with his father, grandfather, and aunt, along with other family members to the school, the family pointed out, the child had been bullied long-term by three members of his class, and that there are two girls in the same class that were bullied, just like him, one of them was pulled into the bathrooms and slapped across the face multiple times, and one of the victims of this bullying couldn’t take it anymore, she’d transferred; the parents had gone to the schools to ask something to be done, but nothing was done, and so, the parents came to ask for help for the children’s behalf.

The student from the class said, that last Friday on boy scout lessons, the three students tied the ropes around the neck of the victim student, but the rope wasn’t big enough so it’d stuck around the head, the three bullies joked on how they will walk the victim like a dog, the victim was angered, pulled off the rope, and voiced his anger, “STOP it, don’t treat me like this!”

The school found the three bullies, the three students admitted to putting the rope around the top of the victim’s head, then, made fun of him, some said, “We can walk him like a dog”, normally, they’d bumped into others, pulled on the others’ shirt, or to jump up from behind and scare people.

The family of the victim suspected that the bullying had started in the second semester of seventh grade, and yet, the school kept stalling in handling it, until the second semester of the eighth grade year, and they’d still NOT dealt with it, from before, it may have been a joke, a prank, but last week, the “walking the dog” had gone way too far, they feared, that if this continued, their child will suffer.

The disciplinary official in the school said that the homeroom teacher had never told the school, until last Friday at counseling session, that, was when they’d first heard about this, and that, was when the school HAD intervened, and, this physically handicapped student is the only confirmed victim, there are surveillance cameras in the bathrooms, that there would be a very slim chance that it’d occurred there; and that there were female students who transferred out, and, whether or not, they still have to check into it.

The disciplinary official said, that these three bullies knew what they’d done and are scared, that they’re faced with getting written up, along with community service, the school wanted them to stay in the original class, to help the victim of their bullying, to give them a chance to make things right; and that they will find a way, to reprimand the instructor for overlooking the bullying.

Yeah, and this, is generally what happens in bullying at school, there’s NOT much that’s going to be done, and, until and unless the parents threatened to S-U-E the school, the school officials will keep on believing, that bullies, WILL be bullies, just like boys would be boys.  And this boy’s being bullied, was overlooked for a WHOLE year too, and, what do you think, can be done now, to REPAIR the damages?  Absolutely N-O-T-H-I-N-G, it’s already too late, damage had already been done, and, the victim can only keep going, as there IS, nothing, to be D-O-N-E!!!

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Filed under Abuse, Bullying, Children Murdered, Coping Mechanisms, Crime & Punishment, Despair, Early Exposures, Education Reforms, Everyone Else's Fault, Growing Up Too Fast, Improper Misconducts, Interpersonal Relations, Issues of the Society, Life, My Thoughts on Various Issues, News Stories, Observations, Peer Pressures & Influences, Physical Bullying, Puberty, Re-Experiencing the Trauma, Reforms in Education, Slaps on the Wrist, The Teenage Years, Unsafe in the Schools, Values, Wake Up Calls

Years I’d Wasted, Getting an Education

This, unfortunately, is still, ALL in H-I-N-D-S-I-G-H-T…

Had I only known (here comes the REGRET trains!!!), this, is where I end up, I wouldn’t have spent YEARS of my precious earlier, more energetic life, in school, getting AN education, I mean, what I’m doing right now, I could damn well do, without a higher ed you know???
Years I’d wasted, getting an education, that’s something I’ll NEVER get back again that’s for sure!!!  Years I’d wasted, getting an education, and what for?  What have I, to show for that?  I still can’t quite get my thesis published, I’m stuck!!!

Years I’d wasted, getting an education, I should’ve found me a job (as that, would be MORE practical???), and, had I done that, I wouldn’t BE at age mid-thirties, still with my HEAD, STUCK in the books, couldn’t find my way, out of this knowledge labyrinth, and now, I don’t even K-N-O-W what I’m supposed to write about for my thesis, and, I’m on a STRICT deadline, as they have a what???  SIX years M-A-X for graduate degree plans, right???  I wouldn’t know here…

Years I’d wasted, getting an education, I will NEVER get back again, and, what have I to show for that?  N-O-T-H-I-N-G, as my professor still doesn’t believe that there’s ANY value in my research topic, and I just have to keep on thinking, rethinking, and rethinking about H-O-W to “tweak” my topic, so it’d meet with the professor’s requirements.

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Filed under Education, Education Levels, Education Reforms, Issues of the Society, Life, Moods, Emotions, & Feelings, Nonconformity, Planning for the Future, Social Awareness

Why the Parents Only Considered After School Talent Classes When There are Afterschool Programs

I DO believe, that the parents had nothing BUT their own vanities to satisfy on their minds on this issue here, but, let’s see what the “expert” would have to say about it, problems in the education here, written by someone who has a children in school, and works full-time, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

The Department of Education decided to delay the winter breaks in this school year for a week, in order for it to match up to the dates of the lunar New Year, to allow the students to have a complete week off, and, this meant, for the parents, that they’d have to pay an extra ten days of afterschool program fees, and this had made a TON of parents unhappy.

The author of this article has two kids, one in the second grade, the other became a first grader this year.  Toward the plans put forth by the government on children’s afterschool care program, to help the dual-income households to NOT get stuck between work and caring for their young, and to boost the programs in child welfare, the writer agrees with deeply, but, since the legislatures had been set, she’d had a TON of feelings toward the placement of her kids!

Actually, it wouldn’t matter how many days off the kids get for their vacations, as we both worked, we can’t let the fact that we had to send them to afterschool programs slide at all.

But, after school started, two years ago, my eldest on his first day of school, had carried, a TON of practice test books, and so many material for the courses, there is a HUGE pressure from the academia, on his small frame, and, seeing how he’d switched his mindset from not wanting to, to forcing himself to accept going to afterschool program as a fact of life, it’d made my heart wrench.

And so, we’d decided, that on his second semester of first grade, he is to go to the afterschool care program provided by his elementary school, and had him take classes that interested him, hoping that he could find the love of learning back again.  But this semester, as we’d signed him up, we’d realized that there weren’t enough kids who’d signed up for the four to 5:30 in the afternoon sessions, and so, the first graders and the sixth graders are put together into the same class, and some of the extracurricular activities didn’t even make it, because not enough people had signed up for them.

I couldn’t help but ask my child, where did all your classmates go after school?  My child counted them out for me, so-and-so went to this or that afterschool program.  In the end, my eldest still got sent to the afterschool programs, and, I think, that my youngest would have to follow his brother’s “footsteps” too.

But, whenever I’d think about the kids, squatting down, in the small, way too cramped up classrooms, eating their takeout meals, with the issues of food safety and health at hand, is this, the RIGHT way to educate our young?

Of course N-O-T, but hey, you have to work, and, there’s NO way you’ll feel comfortable, having your kiddies run around WILD and FREE after school, and so, naturally, ALL of those little “kiddies” gets “shipped OFF” into those afternoon talent class, and, the only way, I can think of (and seeing how this is still MY website!!!) is for the parents, to spend more time with their own kids, but hey, I know, that ALL of y’all got ends to meet, and, so, MONEY is still the issue here, as the cost of everyday living is still on the R-I-S-E!!!

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Filed under Child Development/Education of Children, Education, Education Reforms

Finding the Right Ways to Keep the Runaways Not Run Again

Here’s the “treatment phase” of this LATEST problem, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

The five kids that ran off were finally found.  Members of the public believed, that so long as they’re recovered quickly enough, then, it’s the end of the story, but, the truth isn’t as simple as that.

The problems of these children is NOT strictly “Being angry at the moment, running away on impulse”.  They all have a complicated story about their own separate lives, and, without knowing these stories, there’s NO way to find the right kinds of treatment for the problems of them running away again.  The behaviors of this solitary case of runaway teens are comparable to those who run away out of habit that we’d come across in counseling practices.

And, in dealing with these “phenomena”, we must ask the questions: are the activities of the temple being restricted by the legislatures, to help stop them from absorbing runaway teenagers?  Secondly, if the adolescents or the youths would hang out at 24-hour stores, all the police can do, was to give them a warning, without the rights to DRAG them back home again, could this be a hole in the justice system?  Third, the adolescent criminals’ (if working alongside the frequent offenders, involving in illegal groups) cases must meet a certain quota, for the issues to be discussed.  Fourthly, are the schools and government only focusing on how many children are returned back on campus after dropping out of school, instead of paying attention to the follow-up of these separate cases, and failed to pay attention to the high-risk individuals?  Lastly, in the families when the parents couldn’t or wouldn’t keep the children in check, did the school report it to the authorities immediately after knowing?  And, after the reports of these cases, are there any measures, like outreach programs in place, are there long-term counselors working with the children on their family problems?  Or, are they just throwing the cases without the economic difficulties back again as CASE CLOSED?  Finally, can the school’s purpose not solely focus on getting to the next level of education, to help the children find a general direction of their interests too, to make the students feel that they’re NOT wasting their time in school?

In dealing with teenagers, if you don’t know their hearts and what they’re thinking about, it wouldn’t matter how strict the rules you set for them are, hopefully, this will get the parents’ and the school instructors’ attention.

And, the writer is absolutely CORRECT, because even AFTER you DO find those truants back, and stick them BACK into those four-walled classrooms again, who’s to guarantee, that they won’t run off again?  After all, you’re still merely treating the SURFACE of the problem, instead of digging down, DEEPER, to find the REAL cause of their bad behaviors.

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Filed under Education Reforms, Lending a Helping Hand, Observations, Social Awareness, Social Issues, The Teenage Years, Vicious Cycle