Time For Education Stakeholders To Deliver On Goals
The spotlight was on teachers at the Education Forum in Nadi yesterday.
The Minister for Education, Heritage and Arts, Mahendra Reddy, says he is concerned with the level of commitment and passionate involvement of some teachers. This is reflected by the number of teachers who are absent and late to work according to statistics released at the forum.
The trend is alarming to say the least. The graph shows an upward swing in the number of cases recorded.
This, Mr Reddy says, has impacted on the teacher delivery.
While the ministry is targeting ways and means to improve teacher delivery and job satisfaction through developments, collaboration and incentives, the onus is on the teachers to step up and perform.
Arriving late to work and absenteeism put unnecessary pressure on the school system to maintain the expected level of service delivery. They unfairly stress out their colleagues who have to cover for them. Their students also suffer from a disruption to their learning rythm.
Teachers teach their students to be punctual and attend school. They cannot be effective if they are setting a bad example.
The teaching profession is increasingly becoming a competitive environment. The number of graduates coming out of our tertiary institutions keeps climbing rapidly.
It makes competition to secure a teaching job tougher now. This is a growing trend not confined to Fiji only. It is also happening with our bigger neighbours New Zealand and Australia.
So for those teachers involved, they need to put their act together and perform because there are others waiting on the wings ready to be given a job offer.
Teaching has evolved over the years. Many things have changed for the better with the passage of time.
The advent of technology and the emphasis on learning through critical thinking and an analytical mind make teaching more exciting and challenging today.
Teachers must keep abreast with these changes to become relevant.
Mr Reddy says children no longer respond fully to age old talk and chalk teacher practices or teacher does all routines.
Teaching, he says, has two components, subject matter knowledge and pedagogy (method and practice of teaching).
“Subject matter knowledge is not really an issue given that all teachers are qualified holding Diploma and Degree in their respective subject areas,” he says.
“However, pedagogy is a critical variable in teaching, it deals with having the required knowledge and practice to teach and enhance learning by students.”
The forum has provided a reservoir of ideas on how we can enhance education in this country.
It is hoped that all stakeholders will rise to the occasion and deliver on the forum’s resolutions.