It may be a good time to take a look at student faults.
Punctuality is certainly one. They seem to think that because they are no longer in main-stream school, time keeping does not matter and it can go out of the window.
Asking to go to the toilet during class is another. I can understand very young children in playgroup, kindergarten or elementary school asking to go but when students at an advanced age ask to go, that is another matter entirely.
Students cannot even leave their seat during an examination, let alone go to the toilet. So why do students who should know better ask to go to the toilet when they would not during a test or exam?
Then there is not coming prepared for class. They remember to bring and charge their smartphones but forget their textbooks required for the lesson.
Incredibly, they will often come to class without even a pencil or paper.
What bugs me also is asking to go and pray in the middle of the class when they can do it before or after the lesson.
They also get up to be excused when they get a text or call from one of their parents.
The legibility of their handwriting is another thing which leaves a lot to be desired.
You would think that by the time a student has reached his or her late teens and after twelve years in full-time education, they would have some idea of note-taking.
Note taking, in this context, means writing things down from the lecture or lesson which are discussed or explained by the teacher.
Things have become too cushy for the student. Most information is browsed, not read and assignments or projects for homework are typed up rather than handwritten.
Oh yes, reading! Reading by most students today is considered boring and unnecessary and if a student can avoid doing it, he or she will.
I remain unconvinced that the most competent student can gleam what he or she needs to know simply by browsing or skimming an article in the newspaper, a detailed report, an email, a legal document, a short story or a book – rather than actually reading it.
Many of the lessons or lecture are taught around a powerpoint presentation, so there is little if anything to do except sit and listen.
A lot of information is available at the click of a switch as soon as internet is accessed and the student can spend a couple of minutes maximum to copy and paste from a website.
The term ‘academic dishonesty’ never comes into the student’s brain, let alone a need for citation and referencing when writing an essay or report.
There is probably no doubt todays students are smarter than those of yesteryear but this does not visually translate in the classroom in the everyday experience of the teacher.
They are disrespectful to the curriculum or course and to their sponsors on it. They choose to ignore the basics in terms of listening, writing, reading and speaking which has got them to the position they are in now.
Integrated in fault with punctuality is the need to ‘snack’ during the lesson with either food or drink though sometimes both.
Along with mobile phone use, it serves as a massive disruption in class.
There are times when the students seem compelled to make a fashion statement. Perhaps they will all come in wearing football replica sport shirts or high heels which is not consistent with a study in English about Toefl or Business English for example.
And they will sit in the class in groups of friends which unbalances the teaching method and the layout of the classroom.
Many think they do not have to come to all the lessons or lectures and they will still be passed and accredited at the end of the course regardless.
Coming to lessons or lectures is just a stepping stone to getting a job and a job is guaranteed by the accreditation from the course or eventual graduation.
It is a modern mindset which has evolved over time and is hard to change.
Student engagement and interest in a lesson is very important. So is interaction in the relationship between the student and the teacher plus continuity in the learning process.
This is, of course, a universal problem and not one especially occurring in any one country. It is also connected to teenagers who are in that key transitional stage of life.
So what should students be doing?
Handwriting should be fluid and not of the level of an elementary school student.
Writing notes during a lesson is a key part of the study process.
All lessons should be attended and notes caught up on those lessons unavoidably missed.
They should comprehend academic honesty and apply it at all times.
Disruption during a lesson should be minimized to enable the teacher to teach effectively.
The art of reading quietly and aloud should never be lost but regularly practiced.
Students should revise methods of presentation for assignments and allow enough time in preparation .
Students should, of course, maintain an interest in the subject they study from the beginning until the end.
There is a process of Study – Learn – Practice – Deliver which a student must learn from an early age and continue through life.
The student must always impliment this process in order to achieve the right results.