THE recent announcement of incentives for teachers and headmasters/principals of high performance schools might bring some cheer to a few but the majority of teachers will be left out.
How are the ordinary schools going to compete against controlled schools where the intake of students is based on good results? These controlled, or residential, schools do not open their doors to students with poor academic qualifications, resulting in poorer students being pushed to ordinary day schools. How then do we expect day schools to perform miracles in terms of academic achievement?
Even the best of the best "Guru Cemerlang" (Excellent Teachers), can do nothing about it. These "guru cemerlang" are lucky because they are hardly posted to rural areas. They still stay in their respective schools or are posted to better schools nearby where their so-called expertise is least-needed.
As for the controlled schools, any teacher or principal would be able to do the job because the pupils themselves are capable of handling themselves.
If any incentives or rewards are to be given, they should be given to schools whose students have not been selected based on their high academic achievements. They should consider schools in rural areas and those enrolled with academically below-par students.
And why give the headmaster or principal a higher incentive than the teachers? What is the point of being a leader of an institution if you cannot bring any progress? Replace any who cannot perform, and do not give a reward of as much as RM7,500 for doing the job they are supposed to do.
To add salt to the wound, why reward only five per cent of the teachers with the incentives? Are the teachers who teach the examination classes a superior lot? If teachers from the lower forms dish out rubbish, the exam class teachers will not be able to produce the desired results. It is a collective achievement.
Every teacher plays a role. Teachers from the lower forms and primary schools are the ones who should be appreciated. They struggled to mould the students towards doing the Penilaian Menengah Rendah (PMR), Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), and even Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM) examinations.
Without their hard work and sheer determination, what can the teachers in the exam classes do? I am not condemning these teachers because I, too, teach Form 5 classes.
With the announcement, I bet my last sen that there will be a rush by teachers to teach exam classes, to offer to teach Form 3 and Form 5 classes. This is exactly what happened to the present batch of Form 6 teachers. Teachers who can hardly speak English are MUET (Malaysian University Entrance Test) teachers. At one time, they even rejected teaching PMR and SPM classes but suddenly they are good enough to teach the Form 6 classes because of the automatic promotion.
Let's have the announced incentives spread on a level-playing ground. Do not make five per cent of the teachers happy and 95 per cent suffer.
JAYARAJ KGS, Sitiawan, Perak
Source : Letters To The Editor 2010/05/28
Read more: Teaching profession: Make it a level playing field