What is wrong with our teachers?

I had the fortune of perusing through a report by the team that is propagating the Smart School concepts to all schools. I have written on this smart schools issues a few times before. One of the instrument used to measure the level of “smartness” of a school (at least from use of technology and teaching and learning point of view) is the Smart School Qualification Standard (SSQS). SSQS is an online tool used by the Ministry of Education to gauge and rank the school based on their ICT involvement in teaching and learning and school management.
The latest record shows that the precentage of schools achieving smart school and maintaining their Advanced Plus (5 star smart school) status is bigger in the rural than in urban areas. year on year,Schools in Putrjaya showed the biggest drop. Ironically the hub of ICT and the cradle of the capital administration not to mention the heart of the MSC is in Putrajaya. A quick check with the survey results showed that one of the school excuse of not utilising technology in education is due to their hectic schedules in finishing the syllabus and preparing their students to pass exams. I found this strange, are we preparing our students to be exam takers or what? Aren’t technology are suppose to help them to do to complete the syllabi?  Aren’t teachers suppose to be the facililators and purveyors of knowledge? If we are bent on teaching the students on how to take and pass exams, then knowledge gained by the students are rather incidental rather than intentional. Aren’t the teachers suppose to utilise all the technology available to impart knowledge to their students? So the questions that beg an answer here is why aren’t they using the technologies provided? There are a lot of ironies here. In my days in the textbook division, the teachers, paprents, even parliamentarians would scream to high heaven if the textbooks do not arrive on time in the schools. But if you go to the schools the percentage of use of textbook (that they supposedly would die for and cannot do without) were very low. What they are using are exam reference books and exam sample questions. If that is the case why make so much noise if textbooks are not provided? With the advent of technology, 9884 of the 10,000 schools are wired to the internet via the Schoolnet. But if you check on the schools, the computer labs are dusty, the usage log book are scant of entries, and worse still some of the coursewares provided are still pristinely packed, hardly touch. Mind you, the ministry had provided the schools with more than 1,000 courseware titles for various subjects and the EduwebTV currently carries more than 3,000 teaching and learning related video programmes. Still, usage is still low and after three years EduwebTV has garnered merely 331 million hits and 9,000 downloads. Surely there is a mismatch somewhere. Maybe we should change tact here. Do not give the schools any teaching aids unless they can prove that they really need them and they can show that they can make full use of the technology provided. Give them only what they wanted and asked for. Teach them how to fish rhater than provide them with fish supplies. After all, the days of one size fits all and government knows best policy is over. Or maybe we should stick to providing schools with Buku Panduan Peperiksaan and smoke signals. Our teachers aren’t fit to teach any more? Ill trained? Badly treated?Mollycoddled? Too stressed out? Your guess are as good as mine.

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