REFERRING to the letter “Disgruntled with the behaviour of some teachers” (The Star, April 5), I hope it will open the eyes of the Education Ministry to the situation. The current mode of communication among school administrators and teachers is WhatsApp and Telegram messages. Even official and confidential letters and circulars are communicated through these platforms.
I would like to explain to the writer that teachers are “using” their mobile phones in class to read these messages and directives from multiple departments within the school. It is “burdensome” being disrupted every second to read messages telling them such things as to be alert when a recycling truck enters the school compound to collect unwanted items or of dogs running in the school field.
These are just two examples of the many irrelevant messages which take away our valuable time teaching and engaging with students. If you do not read those messages, you are “enggar perintah (going against orders)”.
Almost all teachers would like to ONLY TEACH as we were trained for. But, as you can see, we are not given a choice. It’s beyond our control. Even the NUTP knows about it and cannot do much either.
I hope my comrade will mark those 21 English essays and discuss the questions in class. My dear comrades, teach; take queries from students; explain; remind them to pay attention to you; wake up those who are sleeping in class; tell Aminah not to daydream and Bala to think about his future considering the influx of foreigners seeking work here; and remind Chua to complete his English essay as our standard of English has declined.
And before I forget, please DON’T forget to read those Telegram and WhatsApp messages every three minutes!
THERE is a lot about our education system that I am frustrated with and I would like to share these with the Education Ministry and the other authorities concerned. First of all, I wonder if all teachers are really qualified for this noble profession. Just recently, I read a newspaper report about students being burdened with homework and exercise books. According to the report, students are required to have five to six exercise books for each subject.
My niece told me that during the recent one-week school break, she was given 21 English essays as homework. I had to help her because she was stressed out and afraid she would be unable to complete them on time. She also said that her English teacher does not mark their homework. She would just write the answers on the board and tell the students to mark their own work. This teacher does not discuss the homework verbally and only writes things on the board, my niece said.
I was shocked when I visited the school and saw the teacher using her mobile phone in class. As far as I know, teachers are not allowed to use the phone during class but I don’t think anyone follows this rule. I am not against teachers having mobile phones but they must know the right place and time to use them. I hope the Education Ministry will conduct an investigation on this issue and implement strict rules, especially for teachers, on how to behave professionally.
There were a few teachers like these when I was in school but the rest really cared about the students and their performance in exams. I hope the authorities take this issue seriously and take the necessary action immediately.