Good to see Education Minister Maszlee Malik and his deputy Teo Nie Ching both endorsing the Sungai Ara Tamil Primary School’s innovative and wholesome approach to education.
Maszlee said that the school had the ability to become a sekolah contoh (model school) while Teo used the hashtag #sekolahcontoh
Hopefully, other schools can emulate the school’s approach, especially the concern over the environment through practical real-life activities.
One thing Maszlee and Teo should look at is the quality – and aptitude – of teachers selected for training. Some of our teachers are doing an outstanding job under at times difficult circumstances. But are all of them really cut out for teaching?
Under the Finnish model, which the minister regards highly, teachers are selected from the top 10% of graduates and the profession is much coveted and highly regarded. They usually have three teachers per classroom, including one to coach pupils who are falling behind.
The profession has to change over here so that teaching can once again be regarded as a noble profession, a vocation, a call to service.
So the selection of candidates for teacher training should be reviewed. Teaching should not be regarded as a last choice but the preferred choice among those candidates selected. That way, we can be sure teachers will be motivated and find job satisfaction – and that enthusiasm will rub off on their pupils.
And here’s Teo Nie Ching: