Thursday, October 25, 2007

Carmen Cubana

I just read an article about education in Indonesia.

According to this article, in a social studies text for first-grade primary school students, one of the questions consisted of the image of a woman holding a small child (an infant?) in her hands. The multiple-choice answers made available were (A) domestic helper (B) father (C) mother. One of the students picked (A) and was penalized for giving the 'wrong' answer, as the 'correct' answer was supposed to be (C).

The story made me think of a number of issues.

Is a domestic helper a form of mother substitution available to kids in general these days?
Prior to starting primary school-level education, I spent a lot of my time at home with my sister, neighbours and domestic helpers. My parents were both working at the time, and I do not recall any moment when I thought a two-income household arrangement is 'weird' or 'unnatural'. Social studies lessons at school didn't do much to change my view on the arrangement; I merely and secretly envied my friends for having their non-working mum pick them up at the end of a day's lessons, ready to whisk them off for a lunch in a fancy restaurant somewhere around town.
So yes, a domestic helper is somehow a form of mother substitution available to kids nowadays. Other forms of substitution I have observed are grandparents, extended family (uncle/auntie), neighbours and childcare services.

Why was 'father' the only non-female option included on the list?
This would be a bone of contention if the kid grew up only with his/her father as sole parent in the family. A lot of things can happen for this circumstance to take place (death and divorce to name a few), and I'm not into entertaining my thoughts for too long on this question.
Oh, and by the way, when I was three I wanted to grow up to be a father... so much for gender roles assignation.

Why does the correct answer have to be 'mother'? is this some sort of gendered political correctness on a female's role to the public eye?
Mothers killing their offsprings bring on a greater public display of outrage when compared to child homicides done by the father. Isn't a woman supposed to be more caring about her offsprings more than her male counterpart? Does that mean a father has less onus in ensuring his offsprings turn out alright in all walks of life? (Just some thoughts I had.)

I don't have a hobby of making life difficult for others, but there are moments when I feel compelled to have some disregard on the concept of political correctness. These are one of those moments. After all, creativity exists to question our way of doing, and consequently our reason of being.

Have a good day ^__^

1 comment:

aroengbinang said...

That's what happened when the right answer is monopolized,and normally it always gives an ideal situation, whilst life is seldom ideal... it's a big question as to when education shall liberate the pupil...