The rest of the world may understand the dangers of smoking, but it appears that Indonesia does not, 66% of the population or 165 million Indonesians still smoke the Jakarta Globe reports.
Even so, I was still somewhat surprised and shocked to see a Physical Education teacher smoking during a PE lesson. (the fellow in the blue shirt above, unfortunately my paparazzi photography skills are not particularly good, but he is holding a cigarette in his left hand). No attempt to hide it either, students had to dodge clouds of thick grey smoke when they ran past him as they did their warm ups around the oval.
Later during the lesson he was playing a game of checkers with the shirtless fellow behind him while he had a cup of tea and another smoke.
Is it no wonder that young children are encouraged and allowed to smoke? (8 year old kicks the habit and Indonesian smoking epidemic getting younger). Fortunately, there are limits, a video of a two year old smoker caused outrage, even among Indonesians. (two year old smoker)
I understand that an Indonesian teacher in a rural area may only make a pittance and that their minimum qualifications need only be that they have completed high school, issues that the government is apparently trying to address. (Teacher’s fight for higher salaries). I guess that given the remoteness of this location the school is probably lucky to have a PE teacher at all.
But teachers are role models, and in particular a PE teacher should be role modeling a healthy lifestyle, or at the very least, be discrete if he/she is not.
Perhaps I am being too judgmental, maybe I am expecting too much or perhaps there I am looking at this from a western point of view, after all it is not that long ago that teachers in my country would smoke in a classroom.