To do well in any subject you must be able to think correctly! Thinking skills are something you can learn and develop. Ask yourself questions as you read your textbooks and notes. Talk to other students whom you notice have good thinking skills. You can also sharpen your thinking skills by taking IQ tests available in books or the Internet, or playing games that require thinking such as word games.



Teachers Should Take Cricitism In Their Stride

By Nur Aimidiyana Zuher

KUALA LUMPUR, (Bernama) -- A few black sheeps in the teaching profession have brought a bad name for the whole teaching profession.

This is the perception of many on the once seen noble profession after the recent UPSR examination paper leaks.

A senior lecturer at the education studies faculty in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Dr Wan Marzuki Wan Jaafar said the episode has affected the integrity of the teaching profession on the whole.

Having said that, he pointed out the teachers were not solely to be blamed as the weakness in the examination management system too contributed to the problem.

Therefore ways have to be found to prevent such incidents from recurring in the future.

"Nonetheless, the impact is on the students. However, teachers should not feel let down by the wrong perception harboured on them and have to move on.

"There are good lessons to be learnt from here," he said to Bernama.

THE EXAMINATION MANAGEMENT SHOULD BE REVIEWED

An education professor with International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) Datuk Dr Sidek Baba said the standard operating procedure (SOP) relating to public examinations have to be reviewed to help identify shortcomings in the nation's education system.

"Leaking out examination papers is something that is not supposed to happen, there has to be greater scrutiny in handling and distributing the exam papers. We do not want people to sabotage the system or syndicates challenge the education system," he said.

Nonetheless, it is unfair for the society to blame the whole teaching fraternity when only a small group failed to honour the trust bestowed on them by the profession.

Sidek added that though the teacher's integrity could not be taken for granted, parents could not run away from the fact that their children's success in education is still dependent on the teachers.

"It is not that 99 percent of the teachers in Malaysia have failed in their undertaking, so don't look down on their contributions for the nation," he said.

THE TROUBLESOME PARENTS

Meanwhile, a teacher Noor Zariah Yusof voiced her regret over parents who wanted to see their children excel in education but hardly did anything to monitor their children. They literally left everything to the teachers.

She said teachers nowadays have to put up with the poor attitude and behaviour of the students as they have to be in the classrooms to teach, train and evaluate students.

"However, the public perception on the teaching profession is often skewed and cynical, that teachers are overpaid, only work half a day and enjoy long weekends and leave.

"The fact remains teaching is not an easy job. It is unlike the old days, now the teachers are tied to the education system that emphasizes on quality," said the Islamic studies teacher at a primary school in Kelantan.

The world of education is increasingly sophisticated in line with the technological developments, therefore the teachers are faced with more new challenges.

PUBLIC PERCEPTION

As for a special education teacher Sri Ratna Rahayu Nordin, the major challenge faced by teachers of today is that the society blames them unfairly for the failings of the students and the education system and they fail to see that teachers too have feelings.

She added that teachers have to show integrity and responsibility in educating the pupils through effective communication because by inculcating such values the society would show greater respect for the teaching profession.

"As a teacher, I feel sad after reading the public comments at social websites like Facebook... many run us down but we will continue to educate the masses," he said.

A would be teacher Mohd Fathul Khair Mohd Dahlan, 23, said the majority of teachers have undergone courses relevant with their profession including in leadership skills.

However, many parents have more trust in their children's tuition teachers who impose hefty fees than the teachers in the school classrooms.

"The teaching and learning process in the classroom have to be handled by the teacher without the interfence from outside parties," he said.

Mohd Fathul said by preparing oneself physically and mentally in facing today's challenges would help teachers face the challenges rationally.

-- BERNAMA