A WORKFORCE of degree holders would contribute to effective and productive output to any organisation.
It is a win-win situation for the organisation and the worker especially when he or she is a degree holder.
The organisation would have a well informed workforce all of whom are well equipped with knowledge and skills that can make a difference to their output.
The worker on the other hand, can expect better remuneration, promotional prospects and social status of belonging to an elite class.
Teachers are the largest workforce in the government sector.
There are 1.6 million civil servants and teachers account for over 700,000 of the total number of employees in the government.
The Education Ministry in line with the Malaysia Education Blueprint is on a mission to transform all teachers in primary and secondary schools to be graduates.
All secondary school teachers have a degree while 85% of primary school teachers today are graduates.
Senior teachers who have served for many years as non-graduate teachers in schools, are encouraged to apply for full time and part time degree programmes in public and private universities.
It is the vision and mission of the Education Ministry that by 2020 all teachers in primary and secondary schools should be graduates.
Teacher trainees from the 27 Teacher Education Institutes in the country graduated with a degree.
The floodgates to higher tertiary studies is open to teachers and for the record, there are quite a number of primary and secondary school teachers who have their Masters and doctorates too.
The Education Ministry and the schools are working together to equip teachers with a degree, Masters or PhD.
Quality teachers beget quality students.
This is the vision and aspiration of the Education Ministry in empowering teachers through raising their academic qualification and professional qualifications.
It is hoped that teachers who improve themselves professionally by pursuing a master’s degree or a Doctorate will be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills. It will eventually bring benefits and impact their students in the classrooms.
Do graduate teachers make a difference in classroom teaching and learning?
More importantly, do teachers with a master’ degree or a doctorate make a difference specifically in the classroom and the school in general?
In primary schools, there are still non-graduates and graduates teaching together in the same school.
Are the performance of the pupils taught by graduate teachers better than those taught by non-graduate teachers in the UPSR examinations or any other school examinations?
Or do graduate teachers in primary schools shoulder extra responsibilities compared to their non-graduate counterparts?
Has there been a research study of work performance or result performance between graduates and non graduate teachers in primary schools?
Has there been a research study where there was a comparison made between the work performance of teachers with a basic degree and a master’s degree in secondary schools?
These are pertinent issues that need to be looked into, so that the vision of empowering teachers and realising their potential to maximise student output is realised.
In the early 60s and 70s most of us were taught by teachers in primary and secondary schools who were not graduates, but we made it.
Most teachers in schools today are graduates, yet many children are going to tuition centres and extra classes for remedial and enrichment classes.
Tuition centres have mushroomed quite extensively in urban and rural areas.
Almost every child in primary and secondary school is seeking additional academic help after school hours.
Why is this so?
Sadly, some teachers have their own agenda when they pursue tertiary studies.
Many teachers use the degree as a platform and ticket to get out of teaching in school.
Many teachers with a degree apply to pursue their master’s programme. Once they have completed it, they apply to public education institutes.
If they have their doctorates, they move on to teach at universities.
Pursuing higher studies to me a is a passport to be a lecturer in educational institutes and not to be a better teacher in schools.
Graduate and postgraduate teachers should focus on getting the necessary knowledge and skills to impact their students.
These teachers have been exposed to numerous methodologies and technological advancements in the teaching and learning process.
Teachers play a significant role in the teaching and learning environment of the school.
They are the single most important factor in realising the vision and aspirations of the National Education Philosophy.
The noble idea of equipping teachers with a basic or master’s degree and PhD is to transform the education system in schools.
Graduate teachers should display a transformation of their thought, word and deed and this should be clearly translated and articulated in the classroom.Samuel Yesuiah, Seremban The STAR Home News Education Sunday, 24 July 2016