The tension between the traditional attitudes of Asian parents and the reality faced by today’s Asian teens has always been a tightrope international schools in the district have had to walk – and never more so than now.
Presently there is a real and widening generation gap on a colossal range of issues, from smoking, drinking, underage sex, teen pregnancy, LGBT students, teen relationships, pornography watching and the Internet.
Here in Vietnam, a nation I have called home for the best part of 17 years, my activity as an English teacher puts me on the cutting edge in the battle between the generations that is currently being waged in homes and schools across Southeast Asia.
White collar class Asian parents, raised during the austerities of post-Cold War destitution, have endeavored to give their children a superior life. Persuaded by traditional Confucian ideas on the importance of education, they have encouraged their children to concentrate hard, take extra classes, complete hills of schoolwork and get passing marks, while outfitting them with iPhones, laptops and all the latest mod cons, with an end goal to give their children what they themselves would never have or afford when they were more youthful.
Be that as it may, all this comes at an expense shisha bar. Extended periods spent running businesses auctioning knocked-off Chinese-made T-shirts in sweatshop premises located on busy avenues fuming with motorbike traffic has prompted today’s cutting edge Vietnamese teens being raised by the rented housekeeper, who cooks and cleans for them while Mum and Dad are out earning cash.
In any case, increasingly serious for the students is the way the schools trample the individual privileges of teens. Schools right now are way more expensive than Vietnamese state schools, while at the same time being far lower in quality than the ultra-exclusive, American secondary school in Vietnam experience offered by IB World Schools to the Vietnamese super-rich, where a year’s educational cost runs upwards of $20,000 per annum. Such mid-market schools as the one I worked in are unnerved of current teen issues, tattle and scandal, as these hazard alienating the current customer base of more seasoned generation Vietnamese parents. Internal scenes of occasionally uncontrollable classrooms lead to student cell phones being snatched away by Vietnamese teaching staff best shisha in hong kong, officially because carrying cell phones to class is against the principles however actually because the school is panicked that the students will upload the photos to Facebook for parents and the entire world to see.