Sunday, April 3, 2011

TEACHERS - Government Servants OR Slaves??

Before you make up your mind to take the profession of being a teacher, you should know these facts:
1.    You will be teaching students for the rest of your life, until you retire..
2.    You will not be promoted to hold posts, not until you have 20 years of working experience... (unlike other professions where you are easily promoted after 5-10 years of experience).
3.    Your working environment is mostly under "hot and humid" conditions...(unlike other professions where you work under air-condition). Most of the time, you will be under the hot sun teaching co-curricular activities. If you're not lucky, under storms and heavy rains..
4.    Your salary scheme is the worst among all government scales... Face it, that's the reality..
5.    You will face humiliating parents who treat teachers as low class professions, although the parents themselves are below average IQs personalities...
6.    You cannot scold students, what more punishing them.., because if you do so, the media will be there in 5 minutes..(thanks to SMSes, Facebook, Twitter and so on....).
7.    Your new cars will be scratched by your students anytime if you ever annoy them in class..
8.    Your working hours is actually from 7.30am to midnight... Think about it... (classes, extra classes, co-curriculum, marking exercise books and exam papers, record books, paper work, meetings, preparing reports, flood situations ... it never ends !!!
9.    You have to follow the Ministry of Education's policies (actually, the Minister's policy) although by common sense you know it is NOT the correct decision, such as the abolition of the PPSMI...
10.  There's more than a dozen other reasonable facts and figures to highlight.....  Let's just see them in the newspapers everyday....

The Star, 3rd April 2011.
THE government should appreciate the role of teachers and realise that we do NOT work under the same conditions as other officers who are of the same salary grade.
We impart knowledge and guide our students under varied working conditions while civil servants of the same grade carry out their jobs in air-conditioned rooms.
Teachers conduct lessons in classes that have no fans, work under the scorching sun when there are extra-curricular activities and sports.
Many of us are in the profession because of the passion we have for our jobs, but the powers- that-be should see us as government servants not slaves.
Is it too much to ask that teachers be placed under a different scale? The government should take into account the unfavourable working conditions and the long hours we put in, as well as the additional responsibilities we take.
Take my case as an example. I am a teacher in the DG 48 scale and reached the maximum of my salary scale in 2007 when I was 47 years old. This means I have and will continue to draw the same salary until I retire in 2015.
Many of the junior teachers will catch up with me and will soon be placed in the same salary bracket. This is very unfair.
Is it not against the labour laws for one to continuously work without any annual salary increment? It is very demoralising for me and fellow teachers who are in a similar situation.
It is only because of our love for the job, the satisfaction of seeing our students scoring high marks in their exams, and their words of appreciation, that keeps us going.
We want to be rewarded monetarily for our hard work. The NUTP should also do its part by seeking better remuneration for us, apart from ironing out issues concerning our working conditions.

I WOULD Like to comment on the letter under the heading “
Tutor to the rescue” (
StarEducation Mar 27) and would like to comment on the writer’s assertion that his/her son disliked both the Maths and Bahasa Melayu teachers in secondary school - the first because she used a calculator, and the second because she made him copy essays from the board.
It is not fair for the writer to deride the teachers for they may have had their reasons for their actions. Using a calculator does not mean that the teacher does not know the subject. Rather, a calculator is used to confirm the figures in one’s memory.
Checking that all figures are correct is a necessary step the true professional will not fail to observe, even for simple additions and subtractions. After all, nothing betrays man like memory.
As for the teacher who wrote essays on the board and then asked the students to copy them, I think the teacher’s intention was to ensure that everyone writes the essay, and also that everyone has practice in handwriting.
Some students do not do their homework, either because they don’t have the time or because they don’t think it is important. And not all students have diligent parents who watch over them constantly.
The practice of handwriting merits special mention.
Handwriting is almost essential to preserve correct spelling and also to do well in examinations. Granted that most examinations are still conducted via the use of pen and paper, a student who must write between 350 and 500 words in an hour or slightly longer, must have had sufficient practice in handwriting.
The speed of writing must be in tandem with the flow of ideas, and therefore must be fast enough to translate ideas into words within the time limit.
All about handwriting
Handwriting is also about endurance and clarity. That is, the student must not get tired and he or she must be able to write clearly enough for everyone to read.
Thus, handwriting is an essential skill that requires a lot of practice and which is often overlooked today.
One of the reasons why handwriting is disregarded is the wide availability of computers.
However, writing on a computer does not develop thought in the same way as longhand does, just like sums never look right until they are verified by a calculator.
I have observed that a number of students from vernacular schools do not know how to write in Bahasa, because their mother tongues do not use the Roman alphabet, which is used to write both Bahasa and English.
Students from these schools cannot copy or follow instructions when they enter national stream schools simply because they don’t know how to write the Roman character with sufficient speed.

I WRITE in response to “Teachers deserve a better deal” (The Star, March 28). I am in the same boat and will be working without any salary increment until I retire in 2016.
To add to what is mentioned in the letter, not only have my juniors caught up with me but several have already overtaken me and are at the DG52 or DG54 salary scales and have even become JUSA “C”.
I agree with GKW that this is very unfair to senior teachers.
I hope the Education Minister and the Prime Minister will look into our predicament.
 Some of the woes from senior teachers all over the country... Can't blame them. They only realize these facts now, after working for over 30 years...
You should realize these facts NOW, if you want to become teachers !!!

Have a nice day......


Wake UP! said...

Other teachers will back stab you too if you are chosen to be best teacher of the year.

Even if that teacher wants to improve her son's improvement in English, the Indian teacher who teaches her son will not give her pointers on what to do, to do that!

keretalembu said...

Agree.. still remember when i'm in training, the lecturer told us, " nak kaya jangan jadi cikgu".. it's true.. can't agree more.
one more thing, if the student get the success, parents will said that's because of the tuition class..
all the glory will go to headmasters/principals and they don't even thank us for what we did..

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