Noble commitment versus money and incentives

  • Education
  • Sunday, 19 Jan 2003

"EDUCATOR" of Penang writes: 

AS a lecturer who has served in the government sector, I feel obligated to voice my views on the government's inclination towards giving incentives to teachers in government schools.  

Is it really necessary to give laptops to teachers and allowances to those teaching Science and Mathematics in English? Is it not every teacher's responsibility to welcome change without thought of personal gain? 

Most Education Faculty graduates from universities apply to be posted to a school where they can begin “lifelong-assured” service. It is this assurance and security that draws a teacher into the government sector. Most of these teachers do only what is deemed comfortable for them as extra contributions do not guarantee higher increments.  

Teachers who do not perform are not given the boot either. I have seen teachers who leaked exam questions, teachers who entered classes only to tell the students to “do their own work”, and those who supplied answers to their students prior to exams in order to earn the school a good name. The worst that could happen to these teachers, if caught, is to be sent to another school where they could very easily repeat their actions.  

On top of this, government teachers are rendered comfortable and complacent by perks such as low interest rates for housing and car loans, and guaranteed employment until retirement.  

If one questions the validity of my comments, take a look beyond the surface.  

Issuing RM600 worth of tuition loans to students is a clear indication of the poor quality of education in government schools. If students are getting a good education, would there be a need to send them for tutorials?  

Giving laptops to teachers may well be in line with the government’s aim to create e-schools. However, will proper training be given to these teachers? How well will these machines work? And will they be well utilised? 

It is a shame that the government has to give an allowance to those who teach Mathematics and Science in English. Would these teachers otherwise lack the motivation to do their best?  

All workers, including teachers, are expected to respond to changes in policy for the betterment of society. 

In contrast, educators in the private sector are constantly striving for self-improvement and development, in keeping with private institutions' aim to provide top notch education.  

Instead of merely taking refuge in an “assured-employment policy”, teachers should work diligently for the sake of their students' future.  

Then, there would be no need to issue tuition loans and such. In addition, students can be assured of quality education in local schools with truly dedicated teachers.  

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