Thursday, November 1, 2012

Yet Another November

.... time flies. It's yet another end of the year. Another year to be thankful for. And a year to ramble about. Been a couple of weeks of rush; the usual year-end 'madness'. Am looking forward to the break.

Taught Form 1 this year and as much as I want the school assessment base thing to work, I am getting increasingly disillusioned by it. The last couple of months have felt like a flurry of assessments. In some schools, students were taking home stacks of assessments apparently.... and I thought assessments should be done in class. We have school based assessments for almost every subject for the first formers this year. And it feels like teachers are more preoccupied with making sure that the paper work is there, i.e. the assessment sheets (Evidence). After all that's proof of work done. These days it doesn't seem to matter, whether the substance is there. Form over substance. And as I talked to more parents and teachers, many of us feel that we might be waking up to a nightmare when our kids get to Form 5.....

I am not anti-PBS and I think exams are not indicative of students' ability. But I also feel that our system is ill equipped to handle a class based assessment approach too. We'll probably need a revamp of the mindset before this can work. Add a makeover in too... Can we undo thirty years of systemic damage inflicted in a time frame shorter than the time taken to do that damage?

And some how too, I seem to be meeting more 'feudal lord' impostors these days.... and bullies too. Our society is still one that is sexist and sometimes I think local culture has a role to play. And it's much worse among certain races. Schools are going on a downhill slide because of such people.... these are worst than the little Napoleans. Funny thing, when I first started teaching, there was so much talk about following all these Kaizen, musyawarah concepts. Kaizen is Japanese... change for improvement. I think we're totally not ready for that cos if we were, we'd still not be stuck in this feudal mentality. Plus, take a look around... do we really have 1Malaysia? Musyawarah strikes closer to the heart and the word has Arabic background with religious affinity too. Well, that's crap too.... bosses these days don't like to hear differing ideas... And so, no matter how practical the next idea can be, if it's not his.... well, go hang it.

With SPM around the corner... Majlis Restu too. I have an issue with this cos I think it demeans loads of stuff. Restu without hard work. Restu without good behaviour. Restu despite repeated reminders not to sleep in class. Restu despite so many things. It cheapens the core of our soul. I'm seeing more different types of candidates too....

Been handling exam related stuff for almost a decade and these days I see parents coming to collect exam slips for their MIA children. Children who have not been going to school. Children who refuse to go to school. And somehow their parents come, take their exam slips and hope for a miracle. They deserve to fail....  Parents hope against all hope for their children while the latter continue in their blissful ignorance while sitting at home and continue leeching. And guess what too? Some teachers actually hope that these kids don't take their SPM.... lest the percentage drops and a post mortem report awaits.

Best joke of the year so far... A new Principal brought a group of teachers to his former school because he felt that he wanted to show them his 'legacy' there. He felt that he had done wonders there, that they thought a world of him there. Well the joke was, when the teachers were there, his former subordinates said they were so happy to rid of him, that they even had Bacaan Yassin for him to get promoted....

We're a misguided and lost lot. A reflection of what has and is still going wrong. We have bosses who push for the wrong things and think they're great things. We've parents who are clueless and at odds ends. And teachers... stuck in between these two realms. All these talk about transformations. Don't people realise that for that to happen, the old must die first?

And oh yes too! We are going digital. I lose count of the number of websites I must log in... to key in marks, to register students, to update my data, to key in other information, to make claims.... mind you, each of the one mentioned represents one website. Each one with a different user name and password too. My mind is all muddled up... That I supposed is a reflection of how berkecamuk our whole system is... We talk about integration, we teach top-down (or bottom-up) management style. Yet in the end, integration is at best adhoc, very much like our racial integration thingy too. And the results of our Cambridge Placement Test which took ages to come back to us. This in an age of computer technology. I thought results can be tallied almost immediately.

Too few good leaders. Too many people who do buttering. We should introduce our own management style and market it to the world like the kaizen concept. Call it feudal management - ala Malaysia. Am looking forward to the rest of November....

1 comment:

SM Ting said...

u hv taken the words out of my mouth.....

majlis restu...total hypocrisy.

my son guinea pig for pbs. m already preparing myself n him so that we will not wake up sweating when he reaches form 5 but it's so difficult to push the child when the sense of urgency to study and excel is not there.

totally confused with the passwords and the slow system. need to look for good timing like their prayer time or when I wake up early in the morning before the crowd jams up the system. trying to have first class education with third class mentality and facility.

m disillusioned too but....it's just my part time job and I take d money home n enjoy. life is too short to to bother about those stuff.....

cheers!!!