An interesting letter to the editor that concerns all of us teachers. What do you make of it?
WE live in a capitalistic world. Everything is measured for its monetary value. Take the case of some undergraduates, there aren’t many who are happy with the courses they are pursuing, but they continue only because such courses assure them of a job and a better future.
In today’s society, a good life is measured by the high salary one gets.I am studying to become a teacher, just like both my parents. It doesn’t pay as well as jobs in other industries, but I have decided to take up teaching as a career because I have a passion for it. However, that does not mean I will be content with the current salary and promotion structure. In fact, there are not many high-achieving students who would consider a career in teaching but they are turned off because it does not value, appreciate and reward young teachers with potential, passion and creativity.
Those who are in the profession with a few years of service, are also thinking of opting out because they are not given recognition for their skills and commitment. To make it a “dream job” that appeals to intelligent and competent people, the Government has to reward them with higher salaries. While I am aware of the many incentives being currently given to school heads and teachers for their hard work, the prospects for young outstanding teachers are still bleak.
The teaching profession has always favoured seniority, and over time more senior teachers are going to be promoted. The younger cikgus will still have to wait their turn to move up the “long” ladder. This is totally unfair and it is one reason why many young teachers with potential are being driven away from the profession.
What I am suggesting is to reward bright, young teachers who not only have a passion for their job, but who are willing to go the extra mile and have results to show.
How do we determine good teachers? The authorities measure a good teacher by the performance of their students in the class finals. However, are the authorities aware that many teachers resort to offering a glimpse of the exam questions to their students to ensure they obtain good grades for their respective subjects in class or school exams?
Perhaps we need to adopt a different method of measuring the standards of a good teacher. Our students will lose out if they are made to believe they are high achievers when in fact, the method of grading them is questionable .
Teachers should be gauged not just by their students’ academic achievements but by the latter’s development of soft-skills and their understanding of culture, local and world affairs.
Our cikgus should also be measured for their individual skills and strengths which should be of state, national and even international education standards.
I must add that the future of this country depends on a sound education system, and it starts with a dynamic and competent teaching force.
MOHD FAIEZ MOHD ALI
Via e-mail(source: http://thestar.com.my/education/story.asp?file=/2011/8/7/education/9198345&sec=education)