Outspoken teacher in Oslo receives whistle blower award
Oslo teacher Simon Malkenes has received the “Stockmann hammer” award for disclosing unfortunate consequences of free choice of schools in Oslo.
This is reported by the magazine FriFagbevegelse (Independent Trade Union) on Monday.
– Simon Malkenes is a worthy whistle blower and is a role model for all teachers and others in public positions who experience critiziceable conditions in their work. He is even a role model to the students, who thus sees the value of freedom of expression, no matter what side you are on; it is stated in the jury’s reasoning for the award.
In March, the lecturer described a typical school class in the actuality program “Dagsnytt 18” on NRK. He did not put names to the students, but used letters to describe them instead. He was accused of violating his students’ rights in the debate on free school choice in a debate in Aftenposten in the aftermath. The post was supposedly written by students, but later it has been sown doubt as to whether the post is genuine as the document was created on the computer belonging to a departmental head of his school.
Malkenes avoided personnel case against him for his statements, but was given a reprimand by the School’s Principal. This has made waves in the Education Federation.
The statements have triggered debates, including concerns regarding teachers’ freedom of expression. City Councelor responsible for the Oslo Schools, Marte Thorkildsen (Socialist Party), is among other things summoning a meeting on the culture regarding expressing oneself in Oslo, which is also pointed to in the jury’s reasoning.
The teacher says that he is grateful to receive the award, which is handed out by the building profession foundation (Byggfag).
– I am very pleased to put the theme of freedom of expression on the agenda, and not in the least to receive this recognition when criticizing a system that is not willing to listen, says Malkenes.
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