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Making Teaching A Choice Profession

Last update: 14/09/2012
By Erda Khursyiah Basir

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 (Bernama) -- The National Education Blueprint 2013-2025 Preliminary Report launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak three days ago, is seen as a positive shift towards enhancing the national education system to the global level.

Outlining 11 elements as the yardstick to achieving this, the education blueprint targets, among others, that the teaching profession be a career of choice.

Deputy vice-chancellor (Student Affairs and Alumni) of Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI), Datuk Dr Junaidi Abu Bakar said making teaching a choice career would help place it at the professional level.

"Some people have been thinking that teaching is an easy job, but in the shift towards making it a profession of choice, society will realise that not everyone is qualified to be called a teacher and gifted with teaching talent.

"Being a teacher actually requires one to have noble values, a certain personality, teaching expertise and skills, as well as related capabilities which add value to an individual as a teacher," he said.

However, be believes that the new approach taken by the Education Ministry in raising the status of the teaching profession would produce more quality teachers who could not only teach at the government schools but also at the private and international schools.

"The opportunity to be called entrepreneurs is also there if the teachers are able to open their own tuition centres and give extra guidance to students," he said.

Junaidi said the ministry's focus on raising the quality of teachers would not only benefit Malaysia, but could also help meet the needs of other developing countries lacking highly professional teaching manpower.

"Individuals who wish to be called teachers need to realise that undertaking the tasks as educators is just not about fulfilling an economic need, but also about shoudering a huge trust in producing quality human capital for the nation," he added.

National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) president, Hashim Adnan said the ministry's objective of making the teaching profession a career of choice is a noble one which could contribute tremendously to national development.

He said through various incentives provided by the government for the teaching profession, individuals must grab the opportunity to serve in this profession as teachers were not only being evaluated on the academic aspect, but also their leadership and management capabilities, and personality.

"The government's objective of producing quality generations in the future will also be easier to be realised with the role and contributions of quality teachers," he added.

Head of the Yayasan Guru Malaysia Berhad Tuition Centre, Suhaimi Rashid said society's low opinion of the teaching profession today must be erased if teaching were to be made a profession of choice.

"This low regard for the teaching profession has made many individuals shun it, but let's not forget that teachers are trained and equipped with the professional skills to educate the young.

"Therefore, the teaching profession should be regarded as being at par with the other professions, as teachers are also the first or primary catalyst to national education development," he said.

English language teacher at Sekolah Kebangsaan Pulau Pemanggil, Mersing, Johor, Muhamad Fizri Jamal said making teaching a choice profession would help raise its status considerably in the public eye.

"Nowadays, there are still many graduates ending up in the teaching profession but it is not their first career choice. Their decision to choose teaching has been driven by various factors such as unemployment and family pressure, and not because of keen interest in or self-awareness about the profession.

"If a teacher has a real interest to teach and is highly disciplined, he will work hard and is responsible, subsequently looked up to by the community, hence lifting up his spirit to perform even better and be proud of himself as a teacher," he said.