Tuesday, January 03, 2006

School Starts for 2006

Well the long year-end school break has finally ended and school will be restarting today. For the those without schooling children, you'd probably notice the return of heavier traffic in the morning jam, particularly for those living or working in the Klang Valley.

The Deputy director-general (Schools Department) of the Ministry of Education, Datuk Kusaini Hasbullah said that everything should proceed as normal, as reported by the Star Education segment on Sunday.

There are however, some notable changes being implemented in the current year:
  • The Ministry of Education expects some 518,000 students to enrol in Primary 1 at government schools. It marks a 2.3% increase over last year's figure of 506,907.

  • With the implementation of the teaching of Mathematics and Science in English in 2002 for Form 1 students, they will form the first batch of students preparing for SPM in Form 4 to have "more" subjects taught in English. These subjects include Physics, Mathematics, Additional Mathematics, Biology and Chemistry.

    In addition, science students are also required to take "English for Science and Technology (EST)".

  • More importantly, to me anyway, is the availability of teaching of additional languages in our national schools. That means that Chinese or Indian students who enrolled into national schools will have the opportunity to pick up their mother tongue as an official subject. It was earlier reported that 89 schools in the country have been identified for the pilot project. A successful implementation of this programme will help enhance the attractiveness of the national schools for all Malaysians.
In a more humourous article, written by a teacher (I think), who, after seven weeks of "shaking legs", is finding it a "pain" to get into the teaching groove again. :-)

The writer's friend Ravi, a teacher in Perak, claims that there are only 4 categories of teachers who are actually looking forward to school start (apparently 3 Jan is a "dirty date"!):
  • those who have recently been promoted to administrative positions and can’t wait to try out their wings (or show everyone else who really is boss, some might say);

  • those who find school a solace from bad home situations;

  • those whose sweethearts are in the same staffroom (Aha! And you thought we teachers were a dull, dowdy lot);

  • those whose lives contain nothing but school (who eat, drink, breathe school).
Some teachers will actually go through the "painful" psychological torment of the potential realisation of a teacher's worst nightmare, just so that the "reality" will always "feel" better.
...there is the psychological preparation involved. One sure-fire method, courtesy of Jill again, is this: Before you go back to school, prepare yourself mentally for worst-case scenarios. Meaning, you are handed a 32 period per week personal time table, made form-teacher of the most notorious end-class, ketua guru penasihat (chief teacher advisor) of three different societies, secretary of the P.I.B.G. (Parent-Teachers’ Association), sports house chief, discipline teacher and teacher in charge of school cleanliness.

“And then,” said Jill in a rational and reasonable tone, “you’re bound to feel relieved when you get your real duties.
Well, good luck to the teachers out there and do have an excellent (and enjoyable) year ahead. The entire country is relying on all of you to groom our young ones to be future productive citizens and leaders of the country. To quote the Star, "you have another whole year of imparting knowledge and skills, of sharing care and concern, and of helping to make a positive difference in the lives of those we are going to teach."

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