KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 — Parents and educationists welcome the implementation of the Malaysia Education Blueprint (PPPM) 2013-2025 but they believe there is room for improvement, particularly in the recruitment of teachers.
They felt that the bar should be raised on the entry requirements for teachers to ensure that only teachers of quality and those fully committed to the profession entered the service.
Parents Action Group For Education Malaysia (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said the quality of teaching needed to be improved.
“For example, the entry requirements need to be higher. Priority needs to be given to those who get 7As or more,” she said.
Noor Azimah said those who were mediocre in their studies but were passionate in the teaching field should strive and work harder to get better results.
“The minimum requirement of getting a mere pass in English is not enough. Just look at the Internet. All the information out there is in English as English is a language of knowledge,” she said.
She said the blueprint, introduced by Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin, was quite comprehensive but its success depended on its implementation. Therefore, the government should work on the weaknesses of the teachers.
“The government should look at their flaws and perfect them. This is because if the government does not address the issues, the people and the public would start to accuse the government of not doing anything,” she said.
Former secretary-general of the Congress of Teachers Union of Malaysia Shahul Hamid Mydin Shah said the government should give priority to those who achieve good results in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia and Sijil Tinggi Pendidikan Malaysia.
“They should be trained in a professional way as the current training is not sufficient in producing good quality teachers,” he said.
Hamid said the government must also be prepared to shoulder whatever financial implications the introduction of the plan.
“It is pointless to have a blueprint if we fail to implement it successfully. That will just be a waste of time.”
National Parent-Teacher Association chairman Prof Datuk Dr Mohamad Ali Hasan said the candidate teachers must have the right character and patience.
“A teacher should be a professional who should not only have the right qualification, sound attitude and the passion to be a teacher. To be a good teacher, you need to be proactive and have the initiative,” he said.
“Active participation, public leadership, good communication skills and good parenting skills are essential to becoming a good teacher.”
Asked if the blueprint was able to address the issues faced, he said teachers-to-be should not only take the job as a stepping stone to other career opportunities.
“Those who aim to become teachers must do the job because they have high interest and liking in becoming a teacher. My advice to them is that if you don’t have the heart, don’t do it,” he said.
Mohamad Ali also said that the qualities of soft skills and emotional intelligence were equally important as they complemented each other.
“As a teacher, you need a lot of people skills in dealing with students and the people around you. That’s why soft skills are important.”