KUALA LUMPUR: Teachers must assume the main responsibility in nurturing the culture of excellence for Malaysia to realise its goals, Education Minister Tan Sri Musa Mohamad said.
He cited Japan and Germany as nations that had been able to achieve economic success on the back of a dedicated teaching force.
“If we want to become a developed nation, we need teachers who support and understand the nation’s aspirations. They must foster a competitive spirit in their students as this will have a positive effect on the students’ lives, including their future careers,” he said in his message for Teachers Day which falls today.
Musa said the quest for quality was a responsibility that must be assumed by teachers at all levels, adding that the ministry was emphasising quality by retaining last year’s Teachers Day theme – Guru Berkualiti Aspirasi Negara (Quality Teachers Are the Nation’s Aspiration) – for this year.
“The biggest challenge facing the education system today is to produce human resources of quality which will enable Malaysia to compete at the global level,” he added.
In his message, Education Director-General Datuk Abdul Rafie Mahat paid tribute to teachers for their hard work, which had resulted in improved results in last year’s PMR, SPM and STPM examinations.
He also called on teachers to be innovative and continually improve their teaching by coming up with new ideas.
“Be a responsive and reflective teacher and never let your students become victims of your shortcomings,” he said.
Rafie also reminded students to reflect on the contributions and sacrifices of their teachers.
The National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) called on teachers to revolutionise their way of thinking and come up with different teaching strategies to keep up with the times.
Its secretary-general Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam said they needed to explore new ways of teaching as learners’ needs had changed.
“Learners of today need the latest information in the least possible time, and teachers can no longer rely on the old method of teaching from the textbooks,” he said in his Teachers Day message.