The Education Triangle

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By Dr. Nu Nu Win
We used to say that Students, Parents and Teachers are the three sides of the Education Triangle. If all these three sides of the Education Triangle are in harmony, the level of education in the country will be high. But if all three are not in harmony, the standard of Education will go down.
This means that parents, students and teachers should know their respective duties. If all three perform their duties well, then we can get a beautiful Education triangle. So let us see what their duties are.
In our Myanmar society, it is not difficult to see what each side should do. In Myanmar tradition, all of us know the Duties of Pupils, Duties of Teachers, and Duties of Parents.
It is not difficult to do so when we were young and even up till the time when we became young teachers (i.e. in the days of 1970s and 1980s). We could teach our students to our heart’s content and we could take care of them not only for their Education, but also their all-round development, i.e. their physical development, mental development, emotional development, social development and their character development.
In those days, when parents came to school to see the teachers, they used to say, “ Teacher, teach them in any way you like, just make sure they do not become blind or lamed“. That was how parents trusted teachers fully for the all-round development of their children. But nowadays, the situation is upside down. All teachers have to take care not to beat or punish a child no matter how much they may break the classroom discipline.  Or else, they would be reported to the higher authority and it is sure that they would be punished in one way or the other.
In the Education Triangle, because the parent’s side is broken, the teacher’s side becomes broken too. Teachers have to take care of themselves and make sure not to lose their present job as a teacher. Thus they relax some of the school discipline. If they see children breaking school disciplines, they just ignore it, if it is not so serious. In this manner they encourage the children to adopt improper attitudes.
Thus the student may think “I can do whatever I like in school, no need to care about the teachers or the classroom disciplines. If something happens, I have my parents who will take care of me and these problems.”
How can a child with such kind of attitude learn the lessons well?
Then another side of the Education triangle is broken again.
Let’s see why all these things are happening at the present time.
Nowadays, the gap between rich and poor is becoming greater. Those who become so rich want to fulfill all the needs of their children as they love them so much; they use to be always on their children’s side. It does not matter whether their children are right or wrong. They do not take care to discipline their children. They think they could solve all problems by using money. That is one kind of parents.
Then we have another kind of parents.  They are so absorbed in their own business matters they think that if they can give enough money for their children, they are dutiful indeed. They never take any interest in what their children are doing or how they feel.
There are also parents who have to struggle for their living to make ends meet. They are on the other extreme. They have no time to take care of their children and they do not know whether their children go to school regularly or not. So, their children have the chance to do whatever they like.
In the opinion of the writer, the only way to move forward to improve the education sector is for the parents, students and teachers to understand their respective duties and work hand in hand to create a good learning environment. In fact, all three sides of the Education Triangle are equally important for the successful outcome of the learning process.

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