Archive for the ‘Teacher's Professionalism’ Category

Improved promotion process for govt officers

Friday, September 21st, 2018
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said a new method would be introduced which was transparent and stressed on integrity. NSTP/AHMAD IRHAM MOHD NOOR

PUTRAJAYA: The government is making improvements to its promotion process for government officers, especially those in the top management group.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said a new method would be introduced which was transparent and stressed on integrity.

“This will lessen any form of disatisfaction. This process also involves ministers.

“If they disagree or want to protest (any promotion), they must state their reasons.

“It is not only because one likes or dislikes a person,” he said after the Special Cabinet Committee on Anti-Corruption (JKKMAR) meeting today.

In this respect, the committee had agreed to form the Public Services Act.

Dr Mahathir also said the committee had agreed with the Foreign Ministry’s request not to fill any of the ambassador posts with political appointees.

“There will be no political appointees for those who have retired to be appointed as ambassadors. We will not allow it.

“This is a strong action against ourselves because there are many members of the government party who want to enjoy life as an ambassador,” he said.

For the existing political appointed ambassadors, Dr Mahathir said they would be called back and their service terminated.

By Azura AbasManirajan RamasamyMohd HusniMohd Noor and Zanariah Abd Mutalib

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Teachers need to update skills to stay relevant.

Sunday, September 9th, 2018

TEACHERS not only need to keep up with the changes and transformations, but also must unravel and repackage knowledge, skills, pedagogies and learning outcomes to stay relevant and connected to the future, said Johor Permaisuri Raja Zarith Sofiah Sultan Idris Shah.

She said as the realities of education is being shaped by advances in technology, the digital and digitised education not only required students, teachers and stakeholders to be technology savvy but also, be able to operate using different modes of thinking and doing.

“Teachers can do this by using varied, effective strategies to instruct diverse learners, using tests and other information on students’ performance in instructional planning, and focusing on literacy and numeracy development. We have seen many examples of how teachers have made an impact on the lives of their students. I believe that they should be held as role models for others to follow.

“Their best practices must be shared with all teachers so that they can collectively change communities and nations,” she  said.

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‘Civil servants no longer need to blindly follow orders’

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018
Every civil servant should be a leader who can think creatively and critically and not merely be a follower. File pic by AHMAD IRHAM MOHD NOOR

PUTRAJAYA: Chief Secretary to the Government (KSN) Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Bakar says the era when civil servants must blindly follow orders has passed.

In a statement, he said, in facing the challenges of the borderless world, every civil servant should be a leader who could think creatively and critically and not merely be a follower.

“All these new approaches are unlikely to be implemented if we are still swayed by old dreams. In this limited time, civil servants must act quickly in discharging their duties based on clean, efficient and trustworthy principles,” he said.

He said the power separation between the executive, legislative and judiciary that should take priority in ensuring the integrity of the civil service was undisputed.

When the people were stepping into the new Malaysia era, the public service must also be determined to move forward in providing the best service to the nation and people.

Meanwhile, he said since his appointment as Chief Secretary to the Government a week ago, among his main pledges was to implement reforms in order to prosper the public service and the people in general.

“Lately the image of the civil service is somewhat dented as a result of integrity and governance issues among civil servants.

Chief Secretary to the Government (KSN) Datuk Seri Dr Ismail Bakar says among his main pledges is to implement reforms in order to prosper the public service and the people in general. NSTP pic.

“As the nation’s backbone institution, we must be brave to further improve efficiency, accountability, integrity, governance, transparency and ethics in carrying out duties,” he said.

Ismail said the civil service, which serves as the implementing institution, should be in the forefront in assisting the people.

“The gap between the civil service and the people needed to be closed so that a sense of ownership could be imbued at all levels of society,” he said.

He said in providing the best service to the nation, civil servants must constantly be ready to execute changes in the face of all the obstacles encountered.


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We treat civil servants as our slaves

Sunday, July 15th, 2018
Civil servants attending motivation seminar. FILE PIC

ARE civil servants disappointed and demotivated? As a person from the private sector who deals with the government side, it is my opinion that they are, and I sympathise with them.

Changes must be implemented to help them. First, we should stop using the words “civil servant”.

These words have caused much problem to the public service. “Civil servant” gives a wrong perception to the people, who consider public service workers as their servants.

The Public Complaints Bureau (PCB) was established to achieve public service excellence by resolving public complaints.

My question to PCB is, are there protections for civil servants?

It would seem that PCB caters only for the public, and while civil servants are the target of many complaints, it is powerless to act against them. A balance must be struck.

There are videos showing civil servants acting rudely to the public.

When that occurs, the public criticises civil servants, but what the videos do not show is how the matter has reached that extent.

The department acts on the personnel without finding out what transpired.

From my observation, many consider civil servants their slaves. Whenever civil servants explain procedures, as laid down by the law, if it’s not in the person’s favour, the public refuses to listen.

They are only interested in having their way. The oft-quoted phrase by the public: “You are our servant. You must serve me. You must listen to me because I am paying your salary.”

Civil servants are not exempt from paying taxes. Some have support letters from political parties, while some throw the name cards of political secretaries or special officers of ministers to civil servants, demanding that they follow the person’s wishes.

In this context, I believe political secretaries and special officers do not have any authority to interfere with the administration of a government department.

Many civil servants get threats from the public that their names will be reported to the minister, PCB and the press for matters that are not their fault.

Some like to make a scene or use vulgar words for their demands to be entertained.

It is suggested that a complaints bureau for civil servants be set up to handle the public’s misbehaviour.


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Teachers urged to take own initiative to deliver their best performance

Wednesday, July 11th, 2018
“Even with the absence of SKPMg2, teachers should prepare their own complete checklist, for self-monitoring and deliver their best performance.” said Negri Sembilan Education Department director Pkharuddin Ghazali (three from right). Pix by HAZREEN MOHAMAD

SEREMBAN: Negri Sembilan Education Department will follow any order issued by the Education Ministry following the suspension of the second wave of Malaysia Education Quality Standard (SKPMg2) auditing exercise.

Its director Pkharuddin Ghazali said teachers in the state were however urged to take their own initiative in making preparations and checklist to ensure continued systematic management.

“Even with the absence of SKPMg2, teachers should prepare their own complete checklist, for self-monitoring and deliver their best performance. It will assist them to identify strengths and weaknesses for improvement.

“I think a lot of miscommunication has occurred with regard to SKPMg2. If we had to do a complete checklist, it could have been a burden. But just to ensure that we have enough basic information as guidance for our work, I think we can always implement the basic from the system,” he said when met at the department’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration here today.

On June 7, the Education Ministry decided to pull the plug on the second wave of SKPMg2 auditing exercise, effective immediately, as an effort not to burden teachers with documentation

The ministry said teachers should instead be allowed to focus on their current tasks, especially those related to the delivery of high quality education to students.

On another development, Pkharuddin said the department had launched the ‘Jom Poie Nolong Sekolah’ campaign in October last year to promote participation from the public to help provide a more conducive environment in schools.

“We have been stressing a lot on ABC through this campaign ‘anak yang baik lagi cerdik’ since last year, which focuses more on a student’s behavior and personality. We give priority to mould their positive behavior instead of stressing on academic achievement as we believe the latter will come naturally if the students manage to behave positively,” he said.

“Among the programmes held at schools organised by parents and agencies were gotong-royong activities, class and science lab beautification projects and motivational talks, among others. We hope these activities which include participation among various parties will motivate the students to become better persons.”

By Nur Aqidah Azizi .

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Saluting dedicated educators

Sunday, May 27th, 2018
Aminudin (in white shirt) and Tengku Nasariah (fifth from right) with the teachers during the Petrosains’ Teachers Day celebration.

Aminudin (in white shirt) and Tengku Nasariah (fifth from right) with the teachers during the Petrosains’ Teachers Day celebration.

IN conjunction with the national Teachers Day celebrations, Petrosains, The Discovery Centre organised a special event to honour teachers for their dedication and invaluable contribution towards the younger generation.

The celebration was held together with the prize giving ceremony of the “2018 Petrosains Science Laboratory Challenge” competition.

A total of 200 teachers and educators from around the country attended the event.

Education deputy director-general (Education Operations Sector) Aminudin Adam gave away prizes to the main winners of the competition.

During the event, singer Dayang Nurfaizah sang, “Greatest Love of All” for the teachers.

They were also treated to a special showcase by the top 10 finalists from the competition.

The competition is one of Petrosains’ initiatives to encourage teachers to be more creative in science to improve the quality of learning among students and their interest towards science.

The competition was organised in collaboration with the Education Ministry’s Boarding School Management and the Schools of Excellence Division.

Tengku Nasariah in her speech said: “As an informal learning institution, Petrosains is the support for teachers to help produce students who will have higher order and critical thinking skills of the 21st century.”

“Petrosains has always been the backbone of support teachers in the strengthening of Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) initiatives in the nation,” she said.

The competition was organised in line with the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025. Sixty nine entries were received. The top 10 finalists competed in the final round and were assessed by experienced judges.

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Teachers happiest when teaching

Friday, May 25th, 2018
(File pix) Teachers should not be made to do clerical duties.

HAPPY and enthusiastic teachers are effective teachers. Though it is undeniable that salary revisions, promotions and cash incentives are important requisites, true happiness for teachers is derived from allowing them to do what they were trained to do: teach.

The primary function of teachers is teaching and no one else can substitute teachers in the classroom. We need to create a conducive environment for teachers to do their job.

The job scope of teachers entails lesson planning, selecting learning materials, evaluating and grading student work, managing student discipline and supervising extra-curricular activities.

But today, many teachers spend more time on non-teaching duties. The list of extra duties is mindless. Though these extras are related to the job, they are robbing teachers of time in less on preparation and classroom interaction.

Reducing the workload in schools is the only wish of teachers.

Teachers have too many students, too much paperwork, too little time for lesson preparation and too many meetings, courses and deadlines, causing them stress.

Many are stressed over paperwork and datelines set by the education officials.

Teachers should not be made to do clerical duties. Schools should employ clerks or teaching assistants to do the paperwork.

The clarion call in most schools is less paperwork and more time to teach, and this epitomises the grievance of teachers.

Teachers are the strongest influence on students.

Good infrastructure, equipment and facilities in schools complement good teaching.

These factors, however, cannot replace the fundamental and paramount role of teachers in classrooms.


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Maszlee has vast experience in education – IDEAS

Sunday, May 20th, 2018
Dr Maszlee Malik is the new Education Minister.
KUALA LUMPUR: Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) welcomes the appointment of Dr Maszlee Malik as Education Minister, describing him as a person with vast experience in the field of education, both as an educationist and author.

Its chief executive officer, Ali Salman, in his congratulatory statement said Dr Maszlee was also famous for exhibiting principled stance by speaking on critical issues openly.

He said the Simpang Renggam Member of Parliament had provided fresh ideas for the Malaysian education system during his campaign by proposing teaching assistants in classrooms, reducing class sizes as well as paperwork for teachers.

“He has also shown commitment to education issues affecting the community through his work on the Board of Governors of the IDEAS Autism Centre and other non-governmental organisations such as Teach for the Needs (TFTN) and Downsyndrome Educational Centre (ORKIDS),” he said.

Ali Salman, who is also the chief executive officer of Islam and Liberty Network, a global platform of researchers and academics, said that Maszlee had actively contributed in debate on Islam and policy issues by presenting an inclusive, plural and liberal interpretation of Islam.

He said Maszlee had also shown commitment to IDEAS in the past when he convened its short course on Political Economy in 2014.


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Dr Maszlee to make learning a joy again.

Saturday, May 19th, 2018

PETALING JAYA: Johor Baru-born Dr Maszlee Malik’s stated aim in the next five years is to ensure the national school system becomes the choice of parents and students.

“We are only playing with numbers, rankings, achievement rates based on exams. In the ‘Buku Harapan’ (Pakatan Harapan’s Mani-festo), we offer a few comprehensive initiatives for the education system, says the newly-named Education Minister.

“We also want to lighten the load of teachers by creating teaching assistants, smaller class sizes and reducing clerical tasks,” Dr Maszlee told Astro Awani in a programme where he was joined by DAP strategist Liew Chin Tong.

The academic, a lecturer at International Islamic University Malaysia, said both teachers and academicians at institutes of higher learning were facing pressure.

“When allocations are slashed and we are burdened with chasing after rankings, doing business and others, we are distracted from our core tasks as educators.

“For teachers and students, the process of learning and teaching are no longer as fun and joyful as before,” said Dr Maszlee.

The Persatuan Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Pribumi) MP, who won the Simpang Renggam seat in Johor, received his Bachelors and Masters in Islamic Jurisprudence and Prin­ciples of Islamic Jurisprudence from University Malaya and Jordan’s al-Bayt University.

He received his doctorate in Political Science from Durham Uni­versity in the United Kingdom, and is a board member for think tank IDEAS’ Autism Centre.

He is among the 14-member Cabinet named by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday.

The proposed list was approved by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V at Istana Negara yesterday evening.

PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was named for two posts, namely that of Deputy Prime Minister and Women and Family Development Minister.

Pribumi president Tan Sri Muh­yid­din Yassin was named Home Minister while Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu was named Defence Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng as Finance Minister.

Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali was surpri­singly named Economic Affairs Minister.

Also in the list were Pribumi’s Rina Harun who was named as Rural Development Minister and PKR’s Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin who will be Housing and Local Government Minister.

DAP lawmakers Anthony Loke Siew Fook was named Transport Minister, Gobind Singh Deo as Communications and Multimedia Minister and M. Kulasegaran the Human Resource Minister.

Amanah’s Salahuddin Ayub will head the Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Ministry while Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad will be Health Minister.

The new Cabinet ministers will take their oath of office before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara at 11.30am on Monday.
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Students need firm, friendly teachers

Sunday, December 24th, 2017
Rote learning, drilling and spoon-feeding were once popular techniques in the classroom. In today’s learning environment, teachers are to take a back seat to let students become autonomous learners and make calculated decisions. FILE PIC

WITH the new academic year just around the corner, parents have begun making a checklist to prepare their school-going children, while shopkeepers may expect a large number of customers flooding their stores. As for teachers, they need to gear up for a new adventure in their careers

Today’s generation is too obsessed with following unhealthy trends that influence the way they speak, write, dress and think. Their thoughts and actions may sometimes take us by surprise. Their varied personalities may be interesting to explore, yet they are challenging to deal with.

Thus, it is important for teachers to equip themselves with strategies and skills to survive this bittersweet journey together.

Rote learning, drilling and spoon-feeding were once popular techniques applied in classrooms as examinations were the main focus. Now, students are expected to be creative, innovative and imaginative individuals who are able to lead, communicate effectively and develop multiple talents through co-curricular activities, school programmes and co-academic competitions. Teachers are to take a back seat to let students become autonomous learners and make calculated decisions.

Every lesson has its fun elements and flaws; it is nice to have enthusiastic learners participating actively in class, but uncooperative, disruptive and lackadaisical students may make it difficult for a lesson to proceed smoothly, resulting in other students getting distracted. To make learning happen and to make students behave is a great challenge, especially when it comes to classes with demotivated, weak and problematic students. Therefore, it is advisable for teachers to prepare alternative plans to solve the problem.

To conduct lessons using varied teaching methods in the first few weeks of the year may help teachers learn about students’ personalities and learning styles. This strategy will help teachers prepare better plans for future lessons to keep students intrigued and motivated during lessons.

All students share something in common. They wish to be seen, heard and appreciated. While some students may volunteer to ask or answer questions to be noticed, others may choose to cause trouble to get attention. It is easy to jump to conclusions and decide which learner is interested in learning and which one is not, but teachers need to be smart in analysing their students’ behaviours before working on solutions.

Students come from diverse socio-economic backgrounds and they have life experiences. Their behaviours and attitudes are influenced by their upbringing and surroundings. Their low self-control and peer pressure make them feed their curiosity, satisfy their desires and relieve their stress in the wrong way, resulting in bullying, smoking, abuse of drugs and sexual offences.

By Muhamad Solahudin Ramli

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