Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Teachers: Myth that non-malay don't want those jobs

Letter to NST
By : P. KALIAPPAN, Butterworth
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Thousands, Malays and non-Malays alike, want to be teachers.

I REFER to the statement on teachers by Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Aminah Ayob ("Teacher dilemma: Non-Malays and men just not interested" -- NST, June 11).

I disagree with her that many non-Malays do not appear to be interested in teaching. She was quoted as saying that poor remuneration was one of the possible reasons and further stated that the few non-Malays who applied usually did not make the grade.I beg to differ, at least where Indian applicants are concerned, be they male or female. Over the years, I have helped and urged many Indian students, who are more than qualified, to apply for teacher training without much success.

These students had a string of As but were unsuccessful. Of course, they were often told they didn't perform well in the 15-minute interview. It raises questions when these overqualified students keep failing, while we are also told that a lack of applicants is among the main reasons not many non-Malays get to go to teacher training institutes.
I know that good results do not necessarily make good teachers. I am also aware it is most convenient to disqualify a student on the basis of subjective assessments (interviews) rather than on the more objective exam results.

Aminah did not give any data on how many non-Malays applied and how many were disqualified and why. We certainly would like to know whether it was because of poor paper qualifications when applying or poor performance during interviews. It is strange that good students from a particular group are rejected on grounds that they lacked the required soft skills.Finally, I don't think people consider a teacher's remuneration as low. Thousands -- Malays and non-Malays alike -- want to be teachers.

First of all, you are assured of a job if you enter a teacher training institute. Besides, enrolling in the institute comes with an attractive allowance.Nowadays, teacher training institutes do not award teaching certificates or diplomas. It is a straight degree and a job, without any need for a graduate teachers' training qualification or any other diploma in education. If there are too few non-Malays, it is certainly not for want of trying or any misconception about the pay.

1 comment:

Salak said...

This has nothing to do with dilemma or diarrhoea. It does have a lot to do with delusion, deception and dishonesty.

For an academic to so lightly look at the problems with a tunnel mind, completely ignoring the problem with her so called refined intellect is sheer blatant dishonesty. If it is her right to be elitist, its just as pertinent for others to be egalitarian. The politics behind her mistaken belief is destructively staring her in the face. Her mind computes it, but its dishonesty that plagues her as with many others of her cliques.