IN a recent Education Roadshow in Kuala Nerang, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid mentioned the need to assist teachers suffering from stress or depression.
His understanding is that the cause of stress may come from the school heads, or the heads of department.
Under the circumstances, teachers could report such cases to the district education office or state education director.
And when teachers actually complain to the district education office or state education office, the entire situation can put them in bad light.
When a report is lodged against a colleague, the complainant is seen as a “whistle blower” and is instead reproached for doing so.
There was an instance where an educator had reported wrongdoings in the institution he taught at.
The matter went to court instead of being resolved by the parties concerned.
A Facebook group for teachers was created some time ago. It was a call to highlight and fix problems that those in the profession had, but it wasn’t well received by the authorities.
It has now become a “social networking” group.
Government school teachers have many tasks, which extend well over the school hours. Many stay back to clear tasks that are unrelated to their profession.
Sometimes they are blamed for the poor performance of their students, which may not necessarily be the teacher’s fault.
At other times, poor pupil behaviour, often compounded by large class sizes and the lack of professional opportunities, have also led to their anxiety and depression.
Furthermore, articles published in the media are often critical of those in the noble profession.
However, there is no need for such anxiety to steal your love of teaching or your ability to enjoy life.
Maybe teachers need colleagues who can step in and take over a class when it is necessary.
It’s so easy to let teaching take over your life. Teachers who’ve learnt to live with the many problems they face have said that it’s important to set boundaries and establish routines.
And while many people would recommend relaxing activities, those affected must take a break.
Counselling and medication may ease the symptoms, but what helps most is a different, more supportive working environment.
AZIZI AHMAD Kuala Lumpur The STAR Educate Let's Hear It 7 May 2017