MIRI: It is vital for the government to make consistent policy decisions and announcements on education amid the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure that teachers are not unnecessarily burdened, said Sibuti MP Lukanisman Awang Sauni.
He said this was important to enable teachers to properly prepare themselves as they already have a huge task on their shoulders in ensuring the safety of their students besides bringing them up to speed with their lessons.
“Changes in policy, even though minimal, can disrupt their performance,” he said when contacted today.
Apart from that, he said the Education Ministry also needs to ensure that the teachers’ burden was not added with matters that would not help improve the student’s performance.
“I’ve seen teachers moan about these issues on social media. I’ve also been approached by some principals who told me that their teachers were already burdened with various Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) standard operating procedures (SOP).
“The students had to be divided further, with one class having only about 20 students. This means that teachers have extra classes to teach,” he said.
In view of this, Lukanisman said non-exam subjects should be put on hold so that teachers have more time to focus on subjects that their students would sit for in their SPM and STPM examinations.
“Teachers must dare to voice their opinion and the ministry must give them attention as well, but the opinions and views given must be rational and not emotional,” he said.
Schools reopened for students in Form Five and Six today after being closed for some three months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Touching on the shorter year-end school holiday, Lukanisman said he supported the changes made to the academic term this year.
He said it was made based on the needs of Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and STPM (Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia) students to boost their study momentum in class.
He said it was important to understand that some students in rural areas are less fortunate as they do not have good internet access for online classes.
In terms of focus, he said there was a clear difference between sitting for online classes at home and being in an actual classroom.
“However, I am also listening to the grievance of some teachers regarding the shortened school holidays and I hope teachers who are also our frontliners, can stay mentally focused and give their full collaboration in regards to the newly announced changes,” he said.
Lukanisman added that this was in line with the new normal post Movement Control Order (MCO).
“This is our first time facing a pandemic like this and the school session for SPM and STPM examination classes is also facing numerous changes. In terms of study, many are left behind. These examinations are important for them to proceed to higher learning institutions,” he stressed.
Lukanisman was confident that the majority of teachers were working their hardest to ensure that their students received the best education and were well-prepared to sit for the examinations early 2021.
“Because of this, I would like to urge the local community and netizens, especially parents, to give their full support to reduce the stress of these teachers who have made various efforts and are innovative in ensuring continuous teaching online, throughout the MCO period.
“Some teachers even went viral for going the extra miles to give online classes to their students, especially those in the rural areas,” he said.
He pointed out that all the decisions on the school holiday were made by the ministry after taking into consideration views from all stakeholders.
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