Sunday, June 26, 2011

Social connections and privileges at school

It is generally accepted that the social network is a social capital that is used quite legally, in the whole world, unless that use of social connections harms another individual, group or whole society. Then it is corruption. The line between the legitimate use of social networks and corruption is rather thin and invisible, and corruption is one of the most important subjects of legislation in democratic countries.
I want to start a topic on the use of social connections and privileges to somebody’s own detriment.
I asked the following questions on the five Serbian forums:
1.      Does your class have pupils/students that get better grades thanks to connections of their parents?
2.      What is the relationship of the class towards the those pupils?
3.      Are privileges harmful or helpful for the students/pupils?
4.      In your opinion, how he / she feels about it and whether he/she would want to change that?
5.      Can those students/pupils influence their parents and how?
The topic has generated great interest. I received 67 responses in total. Only eight responses were negative, the rest of them confirm that there are privileged students in the class. Of the remaining 8, three persons said that they do not have them in their class, but they know that there is in others.
So, it's a very widespread phenomenon.
According to the responses to the second question, privileged students/pupils are not accepted, or are ignored by the rest of the class, and everyone hates or gossip them.
Here is a typical response:
"Of course, 90% of class can’t stand her. Why she is privileged compared to me -.-? "
About the harmful effects of privilege on the students, they all answered in the same way, except one. They think privilege is helpful because students get better grades at the moment, but in the long term, all, without exception, think that is very harmful.
 Interesting answers:
" useful in terms of number of points for entry exams, harmful in terms of making people look at the pupil pitifully because he is unable to learn for A (or C) and mommy and daddy have to intervene ... Now, it all depends on peoples priorities"
 Both harmful and beneficial, but more damaging. What good is all if he/she has nothing in the head.”
Answers to the fourth question surprised me. Up to 82% of participants in this small survey believes that the privileged student is not bothered by any of this and that it is his behaviour model. That is why asking the fifth question almost did not make any sense. Although there are some interesting responses, such as:
“5.Can those students/pupils can influence their parents and how?
„They can not. I think that when parents do it without permission from their children, they do so to protect their own „reputation“ and their last name ... „

My opinion is that the use of social networks in this way is extremely harmful to the child.
First of all, privileged children are unaccepted and lonely, without exception.
If a child is easily able to master the material by herself/himself, involvement of social networks just discourages her/him and she/he ceases to develop his/her own skills, become little loafers. In addition, parents do not let the child experience personal success and failure, which are invaluable for developing important life coping skills.
If the child has no real ability to achieve the desired success in school he/she enrolled, any interference reminds the child of her/his inability, and instead is trying to develop other potentials, she/he develops a sense of helplessness and resentment of him/herself. It is very dangerous; psychiatrists say that the pathological behavior usually develops out of sense of incompetence and complete dependency on others.

Any material and social capital can be destroyed by a lazy and helpless man. So I recommend the parents to use their social networks to improve knowledge and develop skills of their children rather than to improve grades.

                           Before you do anything, speak with your children!

My child: Again on the behavior at school or about the value system
My child: My child is lying!
My child: My child swears!
My child: The role of parents in child development
My child: Jitters / lack of self-confidence before the examination

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