I REFER to the report "Teachers Day goodies" (NST, May 17). I am not against the promotion of school heads and senior assistants. They, too, need and should have all the avenues to climb up the career ladder.
The issue here is the blanket promotion, where every single one of them gets to be upgraded. This is detrimental to the morale of teachers at large.
Ask 10 teachers and eight of them will tell you that their heads and senior assistants are grossly inefficient and are good only at pushing their work to the poor teachers.
It is common knowledge that many do not even deserve to be in their positions, for a majority of them are friends of officials in the education department who got their positions through their well-connected networks.
So, the wise thing for the Education Ministry to do is to vet these administrators thoroughly before giving the deserving ones their salary hikes or promotions.
Here are some questions the ministry should ponder:
- How were these administrators selected?
- Was the selection process transparent and based on merit?
- Are they doing their duties as stipulated in the work specifications issued by the ministry?
Another worrying issue is the disregard for teachers who have higher qualifications, such as a master's degree in their respective fields.
Then, there are those teachers who have continuously contributed to the profession by giving talks and presenting papers at national and international conferences or seminars.
And how about those who have continuously sacrificed their holidays to mark examination papers?
These are teachers who are experts and committed to their profession by sharing and imparting their expertise for the good of all.
Is it so hard to spot or identify and too much to reward these deserving teachers?
And in case the ministry has forgotten, the anomaly in salaries created as a result of the 15 and 25 per cent pay rise for graduates and non-graduates, respectively, a few years back remains unresolved.
C.E.Y. , Penang
THE Teachers Day goodies announced by the prime minister (NST, May 17) had salary revisions, promotions and cash incentives for more than 20,000 teachers, including principals and senior teachers.
Though there are more than 200,000 teachers, only 10 per cent were accorded monetary benefits. And these 20,000 teachers who will be rewarded deserve the recognition for their services.
All teachers would have expected some form of monetary increments or cash benefits on Teachers Day.
Though salary revisions, promotions and cash incentives cannot be given to all 200,000 teachers, the workload of all teachers can be reduced.
The core business of teachers is teaching but today, many teachers spend a lot more time doing many other things. The list of duties teachers have to do is endless.
The news report, "Less paperwork, more time to teach, please" (NST, May 16) epitomises the major complaint of all teachers in schools.
Reducing the workload in schools would answer the wishes of the teaching fraternity on Teachers Day.
Teachers today are faced with too many students, too much paperwork, too little time for lesson preparation and too many mindless interruptions and deadlines.
Teachers should not be made to do clerical and paperwork that have no relevance to teaching. Schools should employ clerks to do all the paperwork.
There are so many young officers in the Education Ministry, state education departments and district education offices. What exactly is their scope of work?
Many of them can be deployed to assist teachers in clerical duties and paperwork.
Good infrastructure, equipment and facilities in schools complement good teaching.
These factors, however, cannot replace the fundamental and paramount role of the teacher in the classroom. Therefore, let teachers teach and reduce their non-teaching burden.
SAMUEL YESUIAH, Seremban, Negri Sembilan
Read more: The New Straits Times Letters to the Editor 2011/05/19 Teachers: Promotions must only be for the deserving