Following the revelation that the state Departments of Education had tried to convert teachers who could not speak the mother tongue of the students but were deployed to teach Bahasa Malaysia to lower primary students in Chinese and Tamils schools, to academic tutors, it is now learned that Chinese schools are asked to reduce the number of classes.
Who issued the order?
Johor State Education Department Director Markom Giran said: "The instruction is from the Ministry of Education."
Deputy Minister of Education Datuk Ir Dr. Wee Ka Siong said: "It is not the idea of the Ministry of Education."
One is the Director, the other the Deputy Minister. But are they talking to each other? Who shall we listen to in the end?
If we pursued the matter further, I am afraid the answer would be "it is a communication problem", and the issue would be swept under the carpet again. Whether it is a case of "the top has their policies, those at the bottom have their measures of getting around the policy", it does not really matter, for in truth it has become an "annual event". The "Little Napoleons" will continue to be "Little Napoleons". What can you do to him?
Yes, no doubt that the directive from the Ministry of Education has been issued after much expectation. But the fact is that many of the non-Chinese speaking teachers who have been deployed to teach primary one and two students in Chinese schools still remain at the school, waiting for other assignment by the Department of Education. And because many of the principals worry about being taken to task subsequently, they therefore decide to play it safe, and not to act rashly.
On the one hand, the Ministry of Education is formally issuing the order that only bilingual teachers can teach primary one and two students in Chinese and Tamil schools, on the other hand, the Johor state Department of Education has demonstrated its amazing "efficiency" in quickly sending a number of Malay teachers to teach English and Malay to upper primary students to Chinese and Tamil schools.
The former group is still lingering behind in the school and yet this group is coming thick and fast. This has resulted in the surplus of Malay teachers in some Chinese schools, giving the school administration a big headache, and making the parents deeply worried over their children’s progress.
The schools which have been instructed to reduce the number of classes also have the problem of excess teachers. It is said that the extra teachers will be deployed to teach in other schools, making the teachers upset and anxious. Some relief teachers may face the misfortune of being laid off and the sudden loss of their ambition and favourite career has put them into a helpless predicament.
In contrast, Johor still faces a serious teacher shortage. According to state Education Director Markom Giran, Chinese and Tamil primary schools in Johor are still short of 1,125 teachers; and secondary schools, 559 teachers. As for the new teacher trainee graduates, they have to wait until February to take office. But they only number about 200.
It is reported that currently there are 1,950 graduates holding teachers’ bachelor’s degrees who completed their studies in December 2010. They have yet to be assigned to schools to teach, because there is a delay in the recognition of their degree qualifications. The new school term has begun for several days, but the already graduated and qualified teachers are still unemployed. This is an incredibly chaotic situation!
Why is this absurd imbalance in the teachers’ training programme continuously repeated? When will the chaos in our education system ever be resolved? - Sin Chew Daily