These days, most primary schoolchildren, especially from national schools, are quite noisy, boisterous and inattentive, and are generally difficult to control in the classroom.
New teacher trainees assigned to primary schools for their practicum training bear the brunt of handling these difficult children.
Though they have been trained to deal with difficult children in classrooms, the real situation is quite overwhelming for these young trainees.
The teacher trainees from Teacher Training Institutes (TTI) come to the primary schools with high hopes and dreams of teaching the small children with enterprising techniques and games they learnt at the institute.
However, their dreams and hopes are dashed when they are rudely awakened to naughty and hyperactive children who are unable to sit still in the classroom.
The teacher trainees are unable to conduct their lessons effectively because of the difficult children who disrupt their lessons in the classroom.
The problem is aggravated if the class is packed with between 35 and 45 children.
When they are in numbers, primary schoolchildren who are nine or 10 years old can traumatise a fresh teacher trainee with their mischievous antics.
As the children sit in groups, it makes it easier for them to do their usual antics, like pinching or disturbing one another.
Senior teachers who go to the classes wield a rotan or a long ruler and the children are quite scared to play or create problems during their class.
Teacher trainees, on the other hand, carry teaching aids and teaching kits to the classroom. They are not allowed to hit or cane the children and so they have a difficult time controlling them. They then spend a lot of time and energy managing the children rather than teaching them.
Some primary schools knowingly assign teacher trainees to weak and problematic classes where the children are naughty and mischievous.
Boisterous children with a short attention span, numbering over 35 in crowded classrooms with poor ventilation and confined for a number of hours, can be a recipe for mental breakdowns and nightmares for teacher trainees. Samuel Yesuiah Seremban The STAR Home Opinion Letters 10 August 2015