After knowing that two-thirds of our 70,000 teachers flunked the English proficiency test recently, it makes more sense for government to be highly selective in recruiting teachers.
According to the proposed Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2015, only recruits from the top 30% of graduates in the country can become teachers and that every applicant should meet the minimum academic requirements.
If this proposition gets implemented, it is unlikely that the country will run out of teacher applicants. Last year, 70,000 applications were received but only 5,000 were needed, said Joint Teachers Unions Committee.
“We believe that teachers should have a genuine desire to want to educate the future generations of our country, and be looking for a vocation, a calling instead of just a career. Because of this required trait, we find that the teaching profession attracts very dedicated professionals,” says Tengku Nurul Azian Tengku Shariman, Director of PEMANDU National Key Result Area/National Key Economic Area (Education).
A degree holder usually receives a basic salary of roughly RM2,300 and can earn up to RM2,500 with allowances. Below is a chart that compares teachers’ salary to other professions:
“Teachers should be well compensated for their tireless service to the ministry. However, better pay does not necessarily mean “performance pay”. Teachers should have a high basic salary to be given an incentive to join the profession in the first place,” she added
Teachers who perform well – either through improved student performance, improved student behaviour or through other methods of professional assessment – should be given a bonus for their stellar performance.
In addition to better compensation and sending teachers for retraining as stated in the Government Transformation Programme 2.0, she pointed out that reducing class size, lengthening school day, mentorship/coaching, and applying different theories of learning to teachers’ lessons were among the best ways to boost teacher effectiveness.
“Reducing class size is one possible way to improve teacher effectiveness, since most teachers would agree that it’s difficult to manage different levels of student learning in a classroom at one time,” she explained.
Written by Lyn Cacha