Thursday, May 20, 2004

At the risk of sounding completely vague, I have to maintain my diplomatic posture and simply make a satisfied observation that the staff is able to unite and stand up to decisions that are clearly misguided and even dangerous. Sometimes the upper echelons make certain observations and, with the best intentions, radically try to change certain norms without actually experiencing the situation on the ground. Perhaps there can be too much of a spirit of "I&E" when we "think out of the box" and implement "something different" without considering that such changes to the norm can result in making the situation even more dangerous than before. There are some norms that we depend on in order to ensure public safety because we know that everyone will follow the set rules and hence behave in a predictable manner thus reducing the element of random, disorderly, dangerous behaviour. This is particularly true in the context of traffic safety laws that guide the behaviour of both drivers and pedestrians. As long as everyone follows the rules, safety is maximized. There is no call, therefore, to make a decision that directs one party to disobey the established laws and as a result cause more chances for an accident to occur than if we simply had left things alone. Our staff on the ground, who speak from real experience, has shown an ability to unite and collectively speak up against change that is arbitrary, and literally a matter of life and death. I'm happy that we can be flexible when decisions come down from on high that seem strange but harmless, and that we can identify decisions that have real consequences and can act together to resist such. We may be easygoing, but we are not sheep. My respect for our staff has been raised a notch. Let's see how this situation will be resolved in the days to come. Let's hope the uppers will hear our voice and make the right decision and not overreact and make an even worse decision. To be honest, this matter is really very trivial, but it's funny how things can blow up when people make decisions on the assumption that students cannot be trusted to do the right thing when left on their own. It's this lack of trust that's going to kill all the things we do right in Education. Then again, sometimes students don't exactly help their own cause. *sigh.

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