THIS year’s Teachers Day theme is “Guru Innovatif - Melonjakkan Transformasi Pendidikan Negara”.
It’s a very apt theme under the present circumstances surrounding the teaching profession.
Rightfully so, a teacher has to be innovative in his or her class because the classroom or school environment is not the same or similar throughout the country.
But for the teacher to be innovative he or she has to be happy, comfortable and pleased with the profession.
One aspect of the teaching profession that is sticking out like a sore thumb is the issue of Cuti Rehat Khas (Special leave), also known as CRK.
Currently all teachers are allowed seven days for CRK but it is stated that “it’s your privilege not a right!”
The power is vested with the school heads whether to grant this leave or not.
There are school heads who reject the applications from teachers.
On some occasions, teachers are forced to apply for this leave when the occasion/activity/function does not necessarily fall during the school holidays.
These activities may be local or overseas.
There are school heads who force the teachers to apply for “No Pay Leave”. This is totally unfair as other civil servants have their annual leave which they can utilise.
Teachers only have the school holidays.
The mid-semester and semester breaks are nothing to shout about. These “breaks” are mainly meant for the students and not necessarily for the teachers.
There are teachers who go for courses, and/or attend functions/activities in schools, and also spend the holidays marking exam scripts.
The real “break” is the year-end holidays. Then again, there are teachers involved in invigilation (SPM and STPM) which stretches up to mid-December.
There are also teachers who spend the entire year-end holidays marking exam (SPM and STPM) scripts.
I would like to suggest that the Education Ministry increase the number of days for CRK.
But, more importantly, the Education Minister and the director-general of education should issue a circular to all school heads to approve applications for CRK by teachers without question.
A teacher will only apply for such leave when it is absolutely necessary.
This will be a wonderful Teachers’ Day gift to all teachers and will definitely make them happy.
A happy teacher will make a wonderful and innovative teacher.
N.N. BALAKRISHNAN, Ipoh.
Source: The STAR Online Home News Opinion Monday May 21, 2012