I believe teachers will welcome this news. I chatted online with teachers to find out their views on this matter.
Here is what some of them said: “THE idea of teacher assistants has been discussed by policy-makers in the ministry for many years.
“My school follows this practice. A form teacher, for example, has another teacher as his assistant.
“Two or three years ago, when I was a form teacher, I had an assistant form teacher. “I did everything a form teacher needed to do. The assistant only helped me to mark class attendance when I was not in school, but I was seldom away.
So, if the job specifications are not stated, it will make little difference.”
“I AM the school examination secretary.
If co-curricular activities are taken care of by non-academic staff, the burden on teachers will be reduced.
“Confidentiality is important. So, I am advised not to allow my assistant to help me with this.
As a result, my assistant only takes care of the logistical part of exams.
I help him whenever we need to arrange the exam hall and classrooms.”
“I LIKE the way private colleges handle their co-curricular activities. It is run by other staff instead of academic staff or lecturers. That way, lecturers focus only on academic matters.
“In schools, however, teachers are trainers or coaches for sports, and instructors and judges in competitions. So, teachers ferry students to many activities.
Then, parents complain that teachers are not in class and that they have no choice but to send their children for tuition.
“If co-curricular activities are taken care of by non-academic staff, it will reduce the burden on teachers.”
Teachers want clear job specifications for teacher assistants.
Teachers know the constraints involved in certain tasks.
They hope to see a reorganisation and restructuring of co-curricular activities and responsibilities in school.
Teachers know best. It is wise to consider their views whenever we propose to carry out a school initiative.