14 April 2005


There was yet another article in the Straits Times yesterday about the beleagered profession, that manages to even further dilute and diminish the mindshare and general respect for MOE.

Teacher gets a loan from mum to break teaching bond to quit 6 months into teaching post because she couldn't control her unruly classes. This follows barely a month after ST's fantastic "Ex-teacher will take 20 years to pay off scholarship bond after failing teaching practicals".

What is the problem, exactly? Aside from blaming the failures, the quitters who serve out their 3 year bond, or the ministry? Here's my take.

On one hand, education is marketed in nauseatingly annoying and idealistic ads (The Teach series). On the other, the teaching environment in 99% of schools show that the advertisements are in complete contravention of reality.

Then, each prospective teacher feels - on the basis of the advertisements, their perception of the civil service, the reputation of the interviewers as ideological gatekeepers - that they have to give a sanitised Sound Of Music reason to the question "Why do you want to teach?" or "What do you think teaching is about?"

Add and stir. Major disaster!

MOE isn't reaching out to the teachers they really want to hire, because they are too scared to say what the x-factor they require in the teacher. And no, it has nothing to do with "wanting to help students"...

Groundwork for an alternative, more accurate ad campaign

Some call this the noblest profession - captains of industry, moulding the future of our nation...

Bonds have been broken
Ideals have been lost
Careers ended in an instant

Yes, this is education - but the hazards are real

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