Monday, August 2

‘No need to have special classes in all schools’

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William Ghani Bina

KUCHING: Sarawak Teachers Union (STU) president William Ghani Bina has said it is not necessary that all schools should have special programmes for slow learners.

He said this is because not all schools have this category of students.

He explained that in these special programmes, teachers would give extra classes by using special methods to teach pupils known to be slow in learning to read and write.

“Normally, we will make sure that pupils will be able to read and write in their first three years of schooling. Teachers will identify weaker students or those who have difficulties in reading and writing and conduct extra classes for them,” he said in a phone interview yesterday.

He said these extra classes were necessary to improve pupils’ performance so that they could catch up with their brighter peers.

Regarding a recent case where three Primary Six pupils from SK Bandar Bintagor were prevented from taking Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR), he said school principals and teachers should administer their schools without feeling the heat of competition because each school has its own standard and performance.

He said they just had to concentrate on their own schools and see how to improve their weaknesses as well as how to help their own students.

“This way, they will not feel so much pressure and stress about trying to be the best. Normally, in rural schools there are a lot of pupils and students who need extra attention and help, so they cannot be compared to schools in the urban or city areas,” he pointed out.

It was alleged that the pupils were prevented from sitting for the examination as they were considered weak and the school feared they would affect its overall performance.

Ghani said he regretted that such incident had happened and hoped the relevant authorities would investigate the matter.

“That incident is the result of the school having so much stress from competition. This will affect not only the pupils but also parents and teachers,” he said.