A ‘professeur’ is the common word for teacher — Azizi Ahmad

AUGUST 6 — It’s sad indeed to hear and to know that voices on ‘professor kangkung’ emerged again. There’s no denying when almost everyone on TV watching the ‘kangkung professors' in sad states defending attacks on intellectual issues.

Basically, the ‘kangkung’ are educators with PhD and years of working experience in academic institutions like the universities.

For lower education institutions those with PhDs will still hold the ‘Dr. ‘ title and will be given lucrative position and office for the years and the said hard work they spent on their dissertations. Not everyone can get through, but those who did, let’s give them a big hand and show them the respect they deserved.

Basically, teaching like every other profession does not belong to the ‘elite’ educators. Surprised? Despite their paper qualifications, a handful of them still go into education because they were scholars of the organization. Most of them do give us a bad rap though there also a handful of great and wonderful professors to work with.

First, there’s Dr. PowerPoint. One who basically turned every chapter of a textbook into a slide show presentation, and then added narration to each slide, for about 40-80 slides per class. With different animations to each slide, we feel like we are hallucinating. So everyone will be staring and waiting for slides over slides and calling to pause if some cannot jot down what was shown. When the time’s up, the class rep will suck up the PowerPoint shown and shared it later with the class. “Okay class; make sure you read the notes given, it’s very important to read them.” By 3 meetings, everyone will just be in the class and wait for the slides to be shown and wait for the class to end and ready with the thumb-drive. Just in case, you know?

Second, there’s Dr. Ego. Be it a man or a woman, when the ‘Dr.’ship is with them, you can be sure that there will be a different scenario in the class. It’s like having to hear him or her telling and turning every class like the way he/she want it to be. Dr. Ego will be carrying stories about his achievement and Dr. Ego ran out of anecdotes, we will have to go the library for own reading. At some point, we realized this format wasn’t teaching us anything about the subjects be it writing or publishing.

We were asked to look into chapters he called for, but when asked about his own writing nothing can be seen.

Then comes, Dr. Love. The teacher who only loves students who will follow whatever said and mentioned by him or her. Students who will never say no to any assignments or they who waited every morning to help carry his or her belongings.

There’s also Dr. YouTube. The doctorate that will use PowerPoint plus videos in classes all the time. If any educators could ever get away with showing movies all year, it would be movie festivals. “Here, watch this adaptation of P.Ramlee, and let’s talk about it. The correct pronunciation is ‘bong go, not ‘bungo’.” You’d still be doing your job, which is talking about movies. But not this guy. Every week, he devoted about 20 minutes of class to funny clips about bad drivers, people tripping over stairs, music dubs, and sometimes entire documentaries about duck tales.

Sometimes he tried to relate the videos to class, but everybody knew he was just using filler.

No teacher and no one are perfect though. Should you have a professor or a lecturer who actually seems to put in a reasonable amount of effort, answers your emails, and tries to prepare you for an actual career, do us a favour, give them some break.

Many of us love our work and what we are doing, and we actually care about education, and your future. Of course, I think most of my students appreciate that. Everyone had fair share of ‘non-working’ teachers, we don’t want anyone to suffer through the same nonsense. Education is expensive these days. We can’t have people throwing their money away on teachers like these.

But anyway, in French, a ‘professeur’ is the common word for teacher.

* Azizi Ahmad is an educator

** This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail.

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