THE Malaysian Education Blueprint is the step in the right direction to revamp the education landscape by re-looking holistically on the teaching profession and education system as a whole.
It is a bold and brave restructuring plan which must be properly executed.
This includes ironing out all outstanding flip flop directives, with well meaning policies with clear directions.
At the heart of the education system are the teachers. There is the urgent need to raise the quality of teachers and not just focus on the quantity to fill each task.
Let’s face it. Good teacher produces good students who are thinkers and innovators instead of robots or parrots.
The teachers’ role of teaching and multi-tasking educational responsibilities and curriculum are most demanding.
Let’s put this in perspective. If a parent finds it difficult to manage a few children for a few hours, then imagine the task of a teacher in a class of a few dozen students of different races, backgrounds, characters, religious beliefs and at the same time keeping a harmonious equilibrium in the classroom.
The job expectations of a teacher are high and overwhelming when it comes to giving each and every student personal attention.
Not anyone can become a teacher and sometimes the smartest and most intelligent people does not automatically mean that they can become good teachers.
As such, the blueprint has to be executed to ensure that the teaching profession is a well rewarding career choice with a clear career path as teachers carry the heavy responsibility of grooming the next generation that will inherit society from us.
That is achievable by continuing to improve the remuneration scheme to ensure it is a proper, fair and transparent system which may include year-end bonuses and benefits, subject to achieving a certain performance level based on a justified assessment criteria.
The career path of teachers must be clearly spelled out and attractive enough to get naturally talented teachers.
It is a sad that many seldom make teaching their first career choice.
The meaning of a natural talented teacher is a person who can impart knowledge to the slowest uninterested student with the right guidance and without loss of interest and frustration.
Another true test of a teacher is turning a student who are less gifted or less talented in studies to thrive to become a better student and a better person with proper character and attitude upon finishing his or her schooling days.
No point being a teacher with adequate knowledge but little patience with weak students who are unable to comprehend what is being taught.
There is more to just drilling facts, passing examinations and producing as many “robotic” students with a string of distinctions.
The blueprint must ensure that teaching profession becomes the preferred choice as a profession as we must never gamble with the future generation, failing which there will be dire consequences in achieving our dreamed vision 2020 developed status.
The movie “The Miracle Worker” is truly an inspiring story where the dedicated teacher, Anne Sullivan taught a deaf and blind child, Helen Keller to communicate. Keller grew up to earn a Degree in Arts and achieve many great things in life despite the disabilities.
Behind every successful person is a teacher. Personally, I thank every teacher who has taught me because what I am today is due to them.
NG SHU TSUNG Kuala Lumpur Source: The STAR Home News Opinion Friday September 14, 2012