Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Apologetic Maths teacher

L, a Form 4 science stream student had a shocking confession from her schoolteacher yesterday morning.

This Malay lady teacher walked into her class and announced before the start of lessons that she was essentially a Science subject teacher but was made to teach the subject of Modern Maths to the Form 4 students for the first time this year.

Speaking gently in Bahasa Melayu, she apologised to the students for not having the experience in teaching mathematics and hope that they will bear with her shortcomings. She then proceeded to start the lesson, speaking mostly in Bahasa Melayu.

At the end of the lesson, most of the students were left none the wiser for they could hardly understand her and she in return had trouble communicating with the students who posed their questions in English, a language the subject of Modern Maths is supposed to be taught in.

Is this a comedy of errors? Both the teacher and the students are suffering from the mismatch. No wonder tuition centres are fluorishing around the country. It seems to me that mismatching of students and teachers is more common than we think and it is all part of our Education Ministry's inability to do a good job. And they still like to use the same ol' excuse of not having enough teachers.

For (government scholars) like Joshua Hooi, 24, who graduated with an education degree, majoring in Maths and minoring in Chemistry last August from Universiti Sains Malaysia, the so-called shortage is a joke, but he isn't laughing.

Entering into a four-year bond with the government after completing his degree on a government scholarship, he is eager to serve, but has yet to receive news of his posting from the education department.

See? I told you it's not funny.

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