Saturday, February 24, 2007

A Lesson in Teaching

My favourite cartoon strip Graffiti came up with another gem of a quote: "Good teachers cost more, but not as much as bad teachers"

It is applaudable that our Deputy Prime Minister Najib has stated the government initiative to study the increase allowances from RM500-RM1500 for experienced teachers to teach in rural areas.

But at SiPM we wonder how did these figures actually come to form? From the looks of his statement even the policy seems to have appeared out of the thin air.

Firstly, why do have to send experienced teachers to the rural areas?

If we look at the situation carefully, what is lacking in the rural areas are good teachers.

Last year, we already outlined SiPM's plan to reduce the civil service by half and put money to where is most needed. Education is definitely is one of those sectors.

SiPM would actually do it differently. All those young teachers whom we've spent hundreds of thousands of ringgit on scholarship will no have to soend a ccmpulsory 3 year posting in rural areas as part of their national service within the education system.

This applies as well to experienced teachers whom we've sent to further their studies in Masters and/or Doctorate Programs (be it for academic reasons or promotional to administrative witthin the Ministry).

The extra allowance will NOT be applied. Heck, they'd be making at least twice as much money under the SiPM administration and they'd be saving all that money too as housing will be provided and the standard of living is significantly lower then urban areas.

But as a carrot, we will make TM and/or ASTRO to provide free/basic satellite broadband services and of course satellite TV for free (as part of their Universal Service Obligations) to these rural schools for the teachers, students and the community to leverage on.

Teachers are the hope of students to learn things after all ;)

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