Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Malaysia must produce better school teachers


THE recent announcement by the Education Ministry (MOE) that trained teachers from the Teaching Training Institute (IPG) are not guaranteed postings after completion of their courses has caused some stir among Malaysians, especially among aspiring teachers and their parents.

Some welcome the move, while others have expressed some dissatisfaction.

Since the beginning, all teachers trained by the MOE were sent to schools as soon as they completed their courses.

But things are changing now and even those who complete their courses successfully would not be assured of jobs.

As the Second Education Minister, Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh has pointed out only the competent and excellent trainee teachers will be given jobs.

The MOE has also been thinking of ways to improve the quality of teachers.

The MOE said that SPM holders applying for IPGs should have at least 7As to qualify for the institutes. This is a welcome move as aspiring teachers should have academic excellence to become a teacher.

As an educationist involved in the training of teachers for more than 20 years, I support this move. But at the same time, other elements should also be given due consideration in the selection of teachers.

Topping the list is a passion for the teaching profession.

I have noticed that the current batches of teacher trainees lack this desire.

This passion was a dominant feature among teachers of yesteryears. Till today, all us who were taught by this superb brand of teachers remember them vividly for their dedication and commitment.

Do we have these kind of teachers today?

I do not deny there are some with these characteristics. But what about the rest of the teachers.

In our pursuit for academic excellence, we may sometimes overlook elements like passion, dedication, hard work and a love for the job. Academic excellence alone may not bring the desired results.

Sometimes a candidate may not have a string of As, but has the passion for teaching and children. This kind of candidate would be a better teacher, than the one with excellent academic results.

Today a lot of students apply to become teachers as this career is a more rewarding in terms of salary and promotions.

Recently, the Government rewarded teachers handsomely by giving them a payrise and promotions.

Another crucial point that needs to be addressed is the selection of teachers. Teacher selection should be done on the basis of merit and the above mentioned characteristics.

Let our teachers have good credentials, passion and dedication and let them be responsible for bringing our standard of education to a higher level of excellence. This is the aspiration and expectation of every parent.

DR S. NATHESAN Muar, Johor

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