THE recent announcement by the Ministry of Education that trained teachers from Teacher Training Institutes are not guaranteed posting after completion of their courses has caused some stir among fellow Malaysians. Some have welcomed the move, while others have expressed dissatisfaction.
For many years, all teachers trained by the ministry were given posting to a school as soon as they complete the course. But things are changing today. Even if you complete the course successfully, posting to a school is not assured.
Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said only competent and excellent trained teachers would be given posting.
The ministry is also thinking of ways to improve the selection process of trainee teachers into the institutes. As stressed by the ministry, SPM holders should have at least 7As to qualify.
As an educationist involved in the training of teachers for more than 20 years, I support this move. But at the same time, other elements should also be given due consideration for selection of teachers. One of them is passion for teaching -- teachers who are dedicated and committed to what they do. I noticed this is lacking in many teachers today, unlike before.
In our pursuit of academic excellence for teachers, we sometimes overlook passionate, dedicated, hard-working and job-loving persons. Sometimes a candidate may not have a string of As, but truly and really has the passion for teaching. This kind of candidate, in my opinion, would be a better teacher than the one with excellent results.
Today, a lot of students apply to become teachers as this career is more rewarding in terms of salary and promotional benefits. Recently, the government has rewarded them handsomely by giving pay-rises and promotions to the deserving teachers. I believe this is a plus point for aspiring teachers now.
Another crucial point that needs to be stressed is the selection of teachers. It should be done on the basis of merit and the above mentioned characteristics. If you look at the bulk of the teaching force today, it comprises one race while the other races in the country are negligible. This alarming situation does not reflect our prime minister's noble vision of 1Malaysia. The concept has to be reflected in our teaching force.
Teaching is a noble task. Not everyone can be teachers. Our teachers must have good credentials, be passionate and dedicated and responsible for bringing our standard of education to higher levels of excellence.
Dr S. Nathesan, Muar, Johor New Straits Times Letters to the Editors 19 July 2013