“Try the prism through which we view our

“Try not to become a person of success , but rather to
become a person of value ” Albert Einstein

 I perceive morals and values to be of
paramount importance in our mission as future inspectors . Basically , morals
and values  should be considered as the
foundation stone and the building blocks of any society because they play a
vital role in determining the strength of any social fabric .By the same token
, they are part and parcel of  our
mission as would be inspectors . From our relations with our colleagues, to
institutions ,  and to teachers ,
seemingly small decisions often pose tough ethical dilemmas .

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Establishing common rules ,
principles and values on which to base our behaviour is of utmost importance to
carry out our mission . A clearly articulated
mission statement tells inspectors  what principles  may guide them. This  statement must be   credible, specific, and something we  can refer to and  execute on . 
It is a moral compass that helps us as  would be 
inspectors   to make the right decisions and feel connected
to a larger group and  purpose. 
Members  who know what  to do and why to do it deliver better performance .

Throughout this
module , the participants in our group agreed that ethics , morality and values
are inextricably linked and as such , we did not delve deep into the
differences between them . We agreed that by establishing a professional code
or a set of rules as I already mentioned above that describes acceptable  behaviour associated with ethics such as truth
, honesty , fairness , and equity , devotion and respect are required in our
mission .

Once we have
developed our overarching code  and
incorporated it into our  practices, we
have the foundation for success. Our mission statement can – and should – be
the prism through which we  view our
everyday initiatives and tasks .

The code of
conduct  should serve as the underpinning
of our mission considering the well-being of 
students and teachers  , as
reflected by the golden rule ” Do unto others as you would have them do unto
you ”

Adhering to a moral
code in daily decision making in all aspects of our mission leads to trust ,
conversely , those who lack this quality will suffer the consequences in
addition to undermining the whole image of inspectors .

A would be  inspector with character has high morals and
will act morally in all situations  notably by choice , not by force .

Bio ethicist Larry Churchill has
written ” Ethics understood as the capacity to think critically about moral
values and direct our actions in terms of such values , is a generic human
capacity ”  With that in mind , ethics
somehow  succeeds  law in safeguarding society . When a would be
inspector follows moral codes , that is to say
acts honestly , stands by his promises. and abides by the rules and
regulations ,  then he or she  catalyses the increment of integrity of the
whole body of inspectors as well as himself or herself . by doing so ,  he or she becomes   worthy of trust and respect
and will  not only avoids legal problems
, but  will also create a positive work
environment .

To put it in a nutshell ,when we obey
our morals our internal peace is maintained , but when we give up our morals
and values , everything fails . So our code of conduct makes us who we are and
keeps the society in harmony .

Towards a professional code of ethics
for inspectors

Many professions have developed codes
of ethics to address their unique situations to make it clear that members
cannot claim ignorance or defense for unethical conduct   . In this module we studied an example of
code of ethics  called Hippocratic oath, an  ethical code attributed to
the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates,  that is adopted as a guide to conduct by the
medical profession throughout the ages and  is still used in the graduation ceremonies of
many medical schools. The text of
the Hippocratic Oath (c. 400 BC) provided below is
a translation from Greek by Francis Adams (1849).

‘ I swear by Apollo the physician, and Aesculapius, and Health, and
All-heal, and all the gods and goddesses, that, according to my ability and
judgment, I will keep this Oath and this stipulation—to reckon him who taught
me this Art equally dear to me as my parents, to share my substance with him,
and relieve his necessities if required; to look upon his offspring in the same
footing as my own brothers, and to teach them this Art, if they shall wish to
learn it, without fee or stipulation; and that by precept, lecture, and every
other mode of instruction, I will impart a knowledge of the Art to my own sons,
and those of my teachers, and to disciples bound by a
stipulation and oath according to the law of medicine, but to none others. I
will follow that system of regimen
which, according to
my ability and judgment, I consider for the benefit of my patients, and abstain
from whatever is deleterious and mischievous. I
will give no deadly medicine to any one if asked, nor suggest any such counsel;
and in like manner I will not give to a woman a pessary to produce abortion.
With purity and with holiness I will pass my life and practice my Art. I will
not cut persons laboring under the stone, but will leave this to be done by men
who are practitioners of this work. Into whatever
houses I enter, I will go into them for the benefit of the sick, and will
abstain from every voluntary act of mischief and corruption; and, further from
the seduction of females or males, of freemen and slaves. Whatever, in
connection with my professional practice or not, in connection with it, I see
or hear, in the life of men, which ought not to be spoken of abroad, I will not
divulge, as reckoning that all such should be kept secret. While I continue to
keep this Oath unviolated, may it be granted to me to enjoy life and the
practice of the art, respected by all men, in all times! But should I trespass
and violate this Oath, may the reverse be my lot! ‘

What is the importance of  setting a code of conduct ?

 The benefits of  writing a unified professional code of ethics  for inspectors 
determines  a standard for which
each inspector  can be expected to meet .
It is a promise to act in a manner that protects  students’ and teachers’  well-being , and to a large extent the whole
society  .In cases where this  code is  repeatedly and grossly violated , the entire
society will be affected . To this end,  a bona fide effort to prevent unethical
behaviour of just a few members creep into our profession , affect and
undermine the image of an entire community of inspectors , should be sought to
opt for a code of conduct for all inspectors.

Unfortunately nowadays our society is
sinking under a tide of sleaze and vulgarity . Dishonesty and corruption are
increasingly becoming the norm rather than the exception. This collapse of
respect and good values made us in danger of becoming inured to disrespect . It
seems that the deeper malaise of our society , the corrosion of deference in
our schools , the abandonment of manners on our streets and the death of
integrity  

( Michel Develay , Donner du sens
a l’ecole, 1996 ) , make us in a way or another close to the point where
ethical behaviour is regarded as an affliction to be pitied . In my bygone days
, I was brought up by a family that considers ethics as its most important
asset . my parents instilled in me a moral compass and a set of guidelines to
remain dignified , brave and unselfish . I remember that when teachers punished
me  even for the tiniest mistake , I
would not tell my parents  for fear of
being punished again  . Now , It is the
other way round  , teachers who seek to
reprimand offensive pupils are attacked by angry parents .We are more and more
immersed in individualism and material gains at the expense of morals and
values  , concepts like duty , honour ,
and responsibility have come to be seen antiquated and irrelevant . The small
voice of conscience is rarely heard these days , it is even delegated away .

Our group discussed the idea of the
collapse of ethics in our education system and to a large extent in the whole
society . We came to the conclusion that 
the indisputable fact today is that we are heading to a bigoted belief
system where the individual remain solely focused on selfish gains , abuse of
power and subjugating others. We gave the example of tutoring that weighs
heavily on the budget of Tunisian families . Everyone knows that if we do not
fix a small leak in the roof , it will grow and if left in disrepair , the
entire roof will cave in .

My Reflection  : an exemplary
personal and professional life

As bleak as it seems ,  prognosis is unavoidable , without a shared
moral code , the well-being of our society is at stake . Either we recover the
moral sense and give it due importance in our education system as it is the
case in countries like Japan and Finland , or we will discover , too late that
in ‘the name of liberty, we have lost our freedom ”

As every cloud has a silver lining ,
the body of inspectors who forms the underpinnings of the ministry of education
, should uphold to a moral compass and strive to include  ethics as a subject  in our education system as it is the case
with Japan  .

Metaphorically speaking , if we think
of  inspectors  as a pebble thrown in the water ,  their actions ripple outward to affect those
people around them ,   and accordingly
every other person has their own set of ripples .Our actions or lack thereof
carry  serious repercussions .

Socrates is cited in 399  BC as saying ‘the most essential thing is not
life , but rather the great life . As would be inspectors , we want to keep
away from an existence that is dishonourable dismal and entirely ailing . In
this light  , I pledge myself to abide by
the law in carrying my responsibilities and optimize what I am doing right . I
will try hard to eliminate mistakes and learn from mishaps and pitfalls .  My 
driving maxim  as I mentioned
earlier is  ‘duty , honour , country ”

I recall 3 anecdotes that Mr. Ali
Triaa  mentioned from his experience

While visting a teacher,  he noticed that there was something wrong with
her but that did not really effect  on
the lesson as a whole . In the post observation conference , he started by
asking her about her children and she informed him that the maid did not show
up that day and she was obliged to leave her little  kids with her neighbours . He couldn’t
humanly ignore that aspect in his job as an inspector given that he knows
that  she is a hardworking teacher . The
humane way of dealing with teachers may rub off on the rest of teachers and pay
off in the long run . His human intuition drove him to conclude that there was
something wrong  and he has to tap on
that .

The very essence of our mission is
not  to be devoid of our feelings and
humane character , our human  Intuition –
which some call a ‘gut feeling’ or a ‘hunch’ .

An inspector who is
driven by his human intuition and moral values , and who is not dogmatic and
thoughtless in his choices can make good decisions based on a thorough scrutiny
, is respected in the community of his or her teachers . When ethics becomes a
conscious consideration and a personal choice it has a bearing on his or her
well-being and his success in his mission living in harmony with oneself . Making
sure we walk the talk and we lead by example and not by threat and  fear . When
we do so , we  inspire others to go above
and beyond the call of duty without coercion. Those inspired teachers , in
turn, go out to influence more teachers . 
Conversely , Inspectors who practice the ‘ do as I say , not as I do
‘will end up undermining their credibility . when you are in a leadership
position , then you know that you have a responsibility for your teachers
,  .They look to you for your guidance
and strength , and a big part of your responsibility is to lead them with your
actions . If you want teachers to establish good rapport with students , you
have to do it with teachers , if you want teachers to be professional in their
practices so you have to be professional and son and so forth .

Another anecdote that Mr. Ali Triaa mentioned was about a teacher who
requested an inspection visit . Upon visiting her , he realized,  with the intuition of a seasoned inspector ,
that some of the students in her class  ,
and it was clear that they studied the lesson before and they were
scattered  to the four winds over the
different rows to give an impression that  all the class was participating .  In the post observation conference , he did
not dwell on that incidence , but later on he treated her in a way as if she
did not exist , sending her an implicit message that he knew what happened on
that day . While I partially disagree concerning ignoring the matter and the
teacher totally , his instant confrontation with the teacher could have
resulted in unknown results . His anticipation of the problems that may arise
from  direct confrontation , could end up
with unexpected results .

In the third anecdote he was called upon to pay a visit to a “troublesome”
teacher . Upon visiting her he noticed that there was something dishonest about
the whole matter that had nothing to do with teaching  practice.

The conclusion we can draw from these three anecdotes is that the
inspector should not listen only to one party .He should act according to his
own values,  and not things imposed by
others , he  or she should act tactfully
not to upset other people .  Communicating
tactfully strengthens our  reputation and
builds our credibility . Using  a tactful approach shows  character ,maturity, professionalism , and integrity .

On the
base of this code Mr . Ali Triaa asked us to work in groups to prepare a
similar one for  trainee inspectors . Our
group ( Sami , Ahmed , Faten , Mohamed , Habib ) met and prepared the code of
conduct  below  to raise standards and improve educational
outcome  .  When we presented the code in class we made ,
some amendments and we all agreed that producing such a code is no easy task
but the endeavour is worth the effort 
and could be a remarkable feat of trainee inpectors endeavour .  Inasmuchas 
we police ourselves , we will always be on the safe side . 

 

    
As a future  inspector I pledge
myself to :

ü Uphold the highest
professional standards in my  work and treat
everyone I work with  fairly and with
respect and sensitivity.

ü Carry out my work with
integrity

ü Observe and evaluate  in line with frameworks, national standards
or regulatory requirements

ü Evaluate objectively, be
impartial and be duty-bound  without fear
or favour.

ü Base all evaluations on
clear and robust evidence .

ü Report honestly and
clearly, ensuring that judgements  are
fair and reliable

ü Take all reasonable steps
to prevent undue anxiety and minimise stress.

ü Act in the best interests
and well-being of learners , prioritising the interests  of  learners at all times .

ü Maintain purposeful and
productive dialogue with teachers , and communicate judgements sensitively but
clearly and frankly.

ü Respect the
confidentiality of information, particularly about individuals and their work

ü Respond appropriately to
reasonable requests .

 

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