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Civil Servant Mindset and Exit Teachers who are not performing


Dr Tan Ai Mei


CSO Education Cluster

Policy Code:

3f Education

Problem Statement:

The reward of a lifelong rice bowl to 400,000 teachers under the civil service system has landed many teachers into a comfort zone and the reluctance to make changes in the approach of teaching and administration of classroom-based assessment. This shows that despite so many education reforms, the majority of teachers have yet to make changes in the approach of pedagogy and assessment.
The excessive redtape observed in the hierarchical structure in the MOE displays the lack of accountability in the leadership in the MOE. The saying, ‘it takes 3 years for a principal to remove a teacher’, has resulted in the majority of principals to rather live with the problem. It demonstrates the ‘could not be bothered’ attitude of the MOE leadership.

Value(s) and Belief(s):

Teachers assume the role of a social and human engineer to students. They are the changemakers, the walking curriculum to move and inspire students. They need to be aspiring and progressive both in their mindset and in engagement with change.

Proposal of Solution:

The use of School Improvement Specialist Coach (SISC) under the PPD office to tackle teachers with attitude and ability issues in school is not resolving the problem at the roots.
Similarly, teachers with mental health conditions should be placed in the reserve pool (for remedial interventions) without hesitation. The establishment of an ‘Ombudsman’ system is recommended to look into the grievances endured by school principals and teachers. This has to be done, to serve the best interest of students.
The post of Specialist teachers should be awarded based on the true performance of teachers instead of merely filling up the vacancy of the post. It is recommended for all teachers to sit for Professional Competency Assessment, known as PTK (Professional Tahap Kompetensi) prior to further promotion in the career path. Promotion dealing with DG41 to DG48 should be held at school level to ensure teacher’s mastery in pedagogy and professional knowledge, while senior level promotions from DG48 to DG52 to be assessed by professional accreditation body.
Teachers with attitude and ability issues need to be dealt with decisively as it has detrimental effects on students.


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