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Giving teachers a helping hand

 By KAREN CHAPMAN and RICHARD LIM educate@thestar.com.my

SCHOOLS with more than 1,500 students have been provided with additional administrative assistants as of January this year.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said one of the problems faced by teachers is usually due to clerical work.

“We decided to conduct a trial from January to December this year by providing an additional 100 administrative assistants to 50 schools which have more than 1,500 students.

“We hope the research findings from the trial will help us overcome the burden faced by teachers,” he said in conjunction with Teachers Day tomorrow.


Muhyiddin who is also Education Minister, said a committee comprising officials from several divisions in the ministry, had been set up to implement the recommendations from an earlier committee established to see how teachers’ workload could be reduced.

“The committee meets once a month to ensure the recommendations are carried out,” he said.

Teachers are the “drivers” in national transformation, he said, adding wherever they are, they must understand the transformation concept is to bring a greater degree of change to Malaysia

“I want to take the opportunity to wish everyone Happy Teachers Day and thank teachers for their efforts.

“I hope this year’s celebration will be more meaningful in our efforts to produce the right human capital,” he said.

Teachers, he said, played an important role in developing quality human capital to fulfil national needs. This, was in line with efforts to be creative and innovative in developing the education sector.

“In our national key result areas (NKRA) lab for quality teachers, one key point in the agenda is the need for comprehensive professional development

“We will ensure that only trainee teachers who are qualified with the best academic achievements are offered teaching positions,” he added. In an effort to improve the quality of trainee teachers, Muhyiddin said that the length of their practical training had been extended.

“As an example, the practical training for the Postgraduate Teacher Training Course (KPLI) will be extended to one-and-a-half years from the previous one year.

“Their performance will be based on the assessment of the school (where they had their training) authorities,” he said.

The deputy prime minister said these were among the steps taken by the ministry to ensure the improvement and quality of teachers.

Muhyiddin had earlier said that the Education Ministry would bring in overseas native speakers of English to help local English teachers and lecturers.

“Currently there are 286 native speakers involving 272 mentors, who are mainly senior teachers, and 14 training fellows in the country helping local English teachers and lecturers,” he added.

The 14 training fellows are placed in the five Institutes of Teacher Education (ITEs), inclusive of one English Language Teaching Centre – ELTC, which have all been identified as the Centres of Excellence for English Language. They include the ELTC, ITE for International Languages Campus, Kuala Lumpur, ITE Gaya Campus, Sabah, ITE Batu Lintang Campus, Sarawak and ITE Dato’ Razali, Terengganu.

The 272 mentors are placed in six zones of 120 clusters, and 1,800 schools have been identified in this project .

“The schools were identified based on criteria by the ministry. Such criteria would also benefit schools in the Felda areas,” he said.

The Teachers Education Division, he added, has produced the Malaysian Teacher Standards that would serve as guidelines for teachers to develop professional values, knowledge and understanding while acquiring the relevant skills in teaching.

“It lays out professional teaching competencies which should be achieved. It also states how other agencies and institutes can help teachers achieve their objectives.

“A total of 83,201 teachers (21.1% of the total number of 393,432 teachers) have responded to our survey,” said Muhyiddin.

Based on the survey, it was found that the overall competency level of teachers was excellent, he added.

On the National Education Blueprint 2006—2010 which ended last year, Muhyiddin said the ministry was in the midst of drafting a strategic plan for 2011 to 2020. The ministry, he added, found that 80% of schools were ready to implement the 1Student 1Sport policy. Assistance would be provided to the remaining schools which had a lack of facilities and sports coaches.

The ministry had also decided to increase the grants for sports activities in schools to RM4 for each primary school and RM6 for secondary school students, per year. The allocations were disbursed to schools from early this year. “There is also a one-off allocation of RM10mil to implement this policy,” he added.

He said that 77,210 teachers and all headmasters and senior assistants in primary schools were already trained for the Standard Curriculum for Primary Schools (KSSR) , introduced this year.

“We are using various strategies to explain the curriculum to parents. We will also talk about the KSSR during events on Teachers Day, Client’s Day and through the media,” he said.

During a recent ministry’s Client Day event in Sandakan, Sabah, he said many in the community took the opportunity to find out more about the KSSR.

“We briefed them about their children’s progress and explained that the curriculum does not solely focus on centralised examinations,” he said.

On the steps taken by the ministry to achieve the 1Malaysia vision, he said schools played an important role in inculcating values pertaining to unity.

“Prejudice is sometimes the root of racism and there can be suspicion when one does not weigh the real facts ... this in turn threatens political stability and peace,” he said.

As a result, he said the ministry’s main agenda was to sow the seeds of unity at school level through various sports and extra-curricular activities.

> StarEducation wishes all educators a Happy Teachers Day!


Source: The STAR Education Home Sunday, May 15 2011
Tags: pendidikan, perguruan
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