The education system in Malaysia is not excluded for its own problems and issues all this while. Referring to the current issues in our education, I would like to point out several issues regarding the system, in which I analyzed deeper into several aspects most common in our education nowadays. I looked at this subject matter at the root of the problem – the school system itself. Education cannot be separated from school. Formal education starts from here and thus building the reputation of our entire education system.
It is from the root that we have to go to in order to curb the problems that come along the way. Most of our schools are government-funded schools. The management system for all these schools is practically the same, with the principal at the top of the hierarchy. Nevertheless, there are a few issues that seriously need to be attended to. Below, I will highlight the issues in the school management system that is frequently being unrecognized and has not been given satisfactory attention.
I will discuss about the system organization of the school itself, the structural issue in schools, the workload of teachers, and most importantly, the funding. I will later end the discussions with some recommendations and finally conclude on the issues discussed. 2. 0Issues in the School Management System 2. 1System Organization Based on the hierarchy system in most schools generally, the older the person is, the higher the ranking will be. This is especially true in Malaysia, where experiences determine one’s rank and position in an organization.
We are slowly moving towards a change in the structure particularly in governmental agencies but as we can see the real fact in the educational sector, mostly in government schools, it remains the same. Most institutions would recognize experiences as their topmost priority in ranking and positioning their employees rather than the qualifications stated in their profiles. Nevertheless, what remains as a question is what kind of experiences that the system is really seeking for. There are two determiners in which it is subjected to – time-wise or skill-wise.
Although one might see that it is something correlated, it is actually very different in terms of its practicality. Time-wise refers to our age factor. The older we get, the higher the rank. Skill-wise, on the other hand, refers to our expertise and proficiency in the field we are in. The better skilled we are, the higher the rank. Technology is undeniably a part of the organization. It is important and a necessity for most organizations nowadays. The lack of know-how in technological proficiency is one of the crucial issues in the system organization.
Older teachers in schools lack in technological skills. They are afraid of using technology and relying on their manual capability instead. Some of the teachers don’t even know how to use Microsoft Office applications – this is mostly subjected to the senior teachers in schools. They are not interested in engaging themselves into technological advancement. They prefer to teach with their own styles, particularly the traditional way of teaching. Awareness and development programs are not providing enough for these teachers to change their attitude towards their preferences in teaching.
Courses and trainings will consume a lot of money indeed. Lack of manpower is one of the biggest issues faced in schools. Teachers are like everything organizations need to run themselves with. This matter will be highlighted deeper in the next issues to be discussed here. Meanwhile, another problem we face in schools is the overall effectiveness of its management, referring to the performance of the teachers, students and the school itself. The system structure we adopt in most schools, as discussed earlier, are bound to its drawbacks. 2. Structural Issue Closely connected to the previous issue, the structural issue is of highly concerned by most teachers in schools. Basically it is about who is in charge of what. The problem that comes with it is mostly all about willingness, capability and availability. Teachers are engaged in many activities in and out of school. They do the managerial job, administrative tasks, monitoring, organizing and much more. At what extent does the teachers are capable of handling those tasks is highly debated but nothing seems to ease the issue.
We can never be sure how far the teachers are really willing to go to handle all these tasks. Willingness is to be rewarded in terms of its pay and blessing, but the burden is still to be questioned. As teachers get older, they don’t want to be included or at least willing to do only simple tasks in these duties (in clubs, organizations, committee, etc). All they want to focus is to teach. 2. 3Workload Teachers as we all acknowledge, fulfill the administrative tasks by themselves.
In schools, the organization is provided with only few management staff for assistance, namely the Pembantu Am Rendah or PAR. They handle the jobs of office assistants and customer service. Although their service is well applauded, teachers still carry a big burden on their shoulders. The matter is discussed widely in the Ministry but so far there is nothing much of an improvement. The Ministry even once suggested about providing teachers with personal assistants to help them in matters related to school administration and such so the teachers have more time and focus on their teachings.
Giving the entire burden to the teachers, they have fewer and lesser time to focus on what they are intended to focus on – the students. With all the roles to be responsible to also means they have fewer times with their families. Teachers sometimes have to stay until 6 to finish all their tasks during busy period. They do paint job, they decorate the halls and wrap the presents as well as restocking the stationeries, besides having to do the shopping themselves. Worthiness becomes one of the main concerns when it comes to dealing with the subject matter.
Is this burden worth sacrificing for entirely, and are the teachers satisfied with all the outcomes? 2. 4Funding Funding is the x-factor in everything we do. We need money to get moving. In most organizations, there will always be the issue of fund allocation – how much do we spend for this and how much do we spend for that – bearing with it its priority. Now that the Ministry of Education is cutting off a high percentage of the budget allocated for schools, it leads to even more issues within the schools.
Schools need to cope with the ever-changing needs of providing for the students and its staff. They need sufficient fund to run the organization with ease. Their plans are always varied, changing from time to time according to the needs. Examples of the plan includes providing extra classes to the students, adding buildings, rooms, or infrastructure for the development of the school facilities, and buying new equipments for sports, the laboratories, even machineries to support the office work, and also paying for the maintenance bills.
Without sufficient fund provided to them, their plans would definitely experience delay and worse, dismissal. Students and parents are also affected by this as the schools sometimes opt for the funding by the Parents-Teachers Association to run the school, for example to organize events, to provide extra classes or tuitions and to buy new sports equipment for the students. 3. 0Recommendations There are indeed many opinions and views on the subject matter by the public, the government and the educators themselves.
Teachers are concerned with the students and their personal welfares too. The government should revise the funding allocated to schools especially those within low socio-economic status areas and the schools in rural Sabah and Sarawak. The government should not only focus on those schools that deliver good results and high-performance schools around the country but also to give attention to schools in the rural areas and problematic schools.
The Ministry should also organized more development courses and programs to enhance teachers’ knowledge in their subjects according to current requirements and technological advancement level as well as in other areas especially managerial tasks using latest technology. The government should develop the interest in these teachers to engage themselves in ICT in order to encourage their students to be academically and technologically advanced apart from triggering their interest in study.
The public, teachers and the government should work hand in hand in order to solve any problems that arise and to further improve our school management system.
4. 0Conclusion I have highlighted several issues regarding the school management system which I believe should be appropriately addressed by the authorities involved in the education sector. I have discussed about the core concerns in these four issues that has been pointed out, as well as giving some recommendations to help address the issues. I strongly hope that the authorities involved will give prior attention to the matter and think of ways to handle the issues.