MOST schools were to have begun their final-year examinations on Monday but because of a directive from the authorities, they were postponed. In the Manjung district in Perak, we were forced to change the date to Oct 18.
I am disturbed by the last-minute decision by the authorities with regard to the examination date. When teachers make the slightest mistake, we become the punching bag but when the authorities foul up, it's because of technical problems.
The authorities refuse to acknowledge that having the examination so close to the school holidays will be a burden to many, especially teachers.
Principals, education officers and the Education Ministry think that teachers should work round the clock.
It takes a lot of time to mark exam papers. Even teachers are given almost a month to mark the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia English language papers. How do the authorities expect us to mark so many papers in a week?
Did the people who decided to postpone the final examinations think of teachers who are involved in marking Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah, Penilaian Menengah Rendah, SPM, Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia and Malay-sian University English Test papers? How about teachers who are invigilating exams? Please treat teachers as humans and not machines or robots.
The reason given for rescheduling the examinations is that if they were held earlier, students would start to play truant after the last paper.
People claim that teachers do not teach after the final examinations and so students stay away from school. Some claim that there are no useful activities after the examination.
These allegations are nonsense.
My wife and I are teachers. My son has just finished his UPSR examination and we make sure he goes to school every day. Parents should make sure their children attend school. How do you expect teachers to conduct lessons when there are fewer than 10 students in class?
No teacher will ignore students if they come in full force. Even if we have completed the syllabus for the year, we can always introduce the following year's syllabus. If that is not feasible, we can organise other activities.
Parents should stop complaining and blaming teachers. We are here to serve but how do we serve when we do not have the support of our "clients"? And how do you expect us to work with so much pressure from officers above us?
In any organisation, workers must be happy for the organisation to function well. If the employees are pressured and made to work under strict regulations, the result is predictable.
Give your employees breathing space. Many a time, good work is never appreciated.
Heads of department should not intimidate or bully us just because they have the power.
You can show your power only when you have it. Please remember that he moment you retire, no one will look at you.
There are cases where employees throw parties just to celebrate the retirement or transfer of a dictator-like leader.
Teachers serve the nation. Please do not expect us to be perfect all the time. Parents should not expect teachers to do wonders.
If parents took time to reflect on the wellbeing of their children, we would not have disciplinary problems. Do not leave everything to teachers. We have hundreds of students to take care.
Jayaraj K.G.S., Sitiawan, Perak New Straits Times Online Letters to the Editors 11 October 2012