kheru2006 (kheru2006) wrote,

Teaching is the priority

I REFER to “Teachers, do your job and stop complaining” (The Star, Nov 14), “Teachers face anxiety as online submissions deadline nears” and “System takes too much time, energy” (The Star, Nov 9).

A few years back, the Education Ministry began its online examination registration.

The same computer hiccups - difficult to log-on, system hangs, data loss, need to sign-in again and again, slow processing, etc. – occurred then. This was subsequently rectified.

The present task of online reports for School Based Assessment (SPPBS) which also includes assessment for physical activities (SEGAK) and other personal particulars is more expansive.

Given time, however, the “glitches” will be solved. But, that is not the point.

The point is: Why is there a need to upload to Putrajaya every individual students’ profile – personal, curricular as well as co-curricular details?

Granted that data, information and their analysis are necessary in decision making, but aren’t there other more efficient ways that could be equally valid and reliable?

I thank the ministry for coming up with this comprehensive online reporting of students’ profiles. It helps schools to “track” their students. But, let these individual student profiles “stay” in schools.

I suggest that what the district education offices (PPD) really need are the individual school profiles under their charge; and similarly, the state education departments (JPN) need the individual district office profiles and the ministry needs the individual state department profiles.

Isn’t this what decentralisation is all about? Let the schools administer themselves according to the central policies already spelt out by the ministry.

There is no need for the ministry/state/district to watch “over the shoulders”, to the extent of even wanting to know the performance and profile of each and every student.

The challenge actually is for the ministry’s research sector to come up with the relevant formats of data input for the different levels of reporting.

A school profile to the district office will certainly not be as expansive as the “all students” individual profiles. It should be lean, discrete and purpose-driven. The same goes with the district and state profiles to be uploaded by their respective owners.

I read in the Preliminary Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 (MEB) that the ministry is targeting that parents may soon begin to access their children’s school profiles online. And, I suppose this “all-inclusive” uploading will enable and facilitate this new venture.

Won’t it be more personal and relationship friendly and effective if concerned parents come to school at appointed or mutually agreed times to access the profiles of their children together with the school counsellors or other teachers-in-charge?

No doubt technology facilitates and enables fast information dissemination. But, it is not entirely labour free, more so for school teachers.

If there is truly a need, let the rule be: to effect minimum data upload online.

Teachers need more time to interact with their students, to teach and to guide them in their holistic development.

It will be tragic if they have to spend hours, in and out of school, to do data entry work. Let teachers teach!

LIONG KAM CHONG Seremban The STAR Online Opinion Thursday November 15, 2012

Tags: teachers, teaching

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