New rules extend the previous requirements to social networks - expert on the document of the Ministry of Science and Education

New rules extend the previous requirements to social networks - expert on the document of the Ministry of Science and Education

The "Rules of Ethical Behavior of Educators (təhsil verənlər)" adopted on May 15 at the board of the Ministry of Science and Education of Azerbaijan introduced new requirements for education workers that did not exist before. The title of the document is characteristic, expanding the scope of performers beyond the teaching circle.

"Educationalists" must adhere to the principles of legality, loyalty, conscientious and cultural behavior, impartiality, and public trust.  Teachers and other workers in this field are prohibited from posting photos, audio and video materials in their personal accounts on social networks that defame the name and undermine the reputation of the teacher and the institution in which he works. According to the new rules, the teacher "must comply with the norms of national morality and public behavior in his personal life, refrain from actions leading to violation of the rights of society and the individual, take care of the protection of nature, history and cultural heritage of the country." Smoking is prohibited on the territory of the educational institution.

There were no such norms in the previous "Rules of Ethical Behavior of teachers".

Elshan Mammadov, a leading adviser to the Absheron-Khizi Regional Department of Education, answered Turan's questions about the new rules and the circumstances arising from it. He said:

- First, I will note minor changes that do not affect the fundamental aspects of the rules. This is a clarification in the name and replacement of the "rule of law" with the "principle of legality", which must be observed by the staff of the educational institution.

The most interesting provision of the "Ethical Rules" is about "loyalty". The rules require employees of an educational institution in cases beyond their official powers and in public discussions to avoid critical comments from colleagues and educational institutions, as well as government organizations and their leaders.   Such a requirement was in the previous regulatory document, which was canceled at the Board on May 15, 2024. The main point here is that the requirement does not apply to cases of criticism of illegal actions.

A condition is introduced for the inadmissibility of spreading negative information about colleagues, superiors and any educational institutions in the press and social networks. This requirement is reflected in the proposal on the obligation of employees to comply with these Rules when communicating in the media and social networks.   Analyzing this point of the Rules, you can see that the difference with the previous document adopted 10 years ago is that there was no indication of social networks at that time. Nowadays, social networks have become an important part of public life, and therefore I consider it normal to introduce this concept into the Rules. 

It is also necessary to note the infrequent, but still existing cases of posting unverified, biased information on the activities of educational institutions and its employees on social networks. The information was accompanied by videos. Such content was sometimes exhibited by individual teachers and other employees of these organizations, which caused misconceptions in society and belittled the image of education workers. Of course, this is wrong.  Such information violates the principle of subordination. It is more correct to use social networks to promote the best aspirations in our field.

My attention was drawn to the point of the new Rules about the obligation of employees of the sphere to counteract any manifestations of corruption, to educate students in the spirit of intransigence against corruption.

I do not see anything unusual in the requirement for education workers not to smoke in the presence of students. Perhaps, until yesterday, we smoked in the presence of students, now such behavior will be considered unacceptable.

The head of the educational institution is responsible for the staff's compliance with Ethical Rules, who has the right to apply penalties against the violator.

Employees who fail to comply with these rules and the Employment Contract may be subject to disciplinary liability in accordance with Labor Legislation," Elshan Mammadov, Chief Adviser to the Regional Department of Education, explained the new regulatory document of the Ministry of Science and Education.

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