10 May 2008

Dealing with Failures in our School

Yesterday we had a long discussion on what we should do to the failures of our module. For too long, we had been under pressure to pass as many as possible, especially those students who have passed their core modules but failed ours. Our main grouse is on why should we bend our standards and pass the "bugger" who have not attended a single lesson in 18 weeks and just need to come to do a simple test and get away with it. Worse, this chap has to be stalked at the exams hall, escorted all the way to our office and "forced" to do the test and get an automatic pass! Some of them who knew the loopholes in this system, cheekily tell off one of my colleagues, "See you at the exam hall!"

Are teachers here so impotent? Are we to forever swallow our integrity and pass these "terok-terok" students?

We discussed and talked for 1.5 hrs. In the end the conclusion is that we make them do another simplified project and asked them to come for about 4-6 hrs for us to speak some sense into them. And of course, the miracle happens and they passed the module - without attending much lessons and probably never even buying the course workbook. What a mockery of the whole system! My take is that this "terok-terok" would not even come for your make-up project and class, and we have to end up with the exam hall stalking again.

The whole matter, i believe, can be solved if we are serious about the standards. If they don't do well enough or are not serious enough, let them fail. Don't push them up. Hang on to our corporations core values - Integrity. In so doing, our morales will be higher and we will be able to lift our heads in front of our students.

What about the Christian teacher in this situation? Tough, in fact very tough. For me, i failed in just going along with my bosses' orders and never seriously think it through for myself and make a stand. It's the easier path.

I was encouraged by another colleague who made the 'terok" students stay for remedial classes on Fridays to try to speak some sense into their hardened minds - and it seemed to work for 1-2 of them! I should rise up and do something more - don't be too easy anymore. Put in the effort to reach out and try harder to change them.

Another thought shared by another colleague - why are we just concentrating on the failures? Why not work on attracting them to come to class and help them do well? Great thought!

I have slacken a fair bit since my 1st year and is on cruise mode now in my 2nd year. I need to wake up and put in more efforts in my teaching. Both for their good and mine. I want to be able to see God with joy and the satisfaction that I have done my level best in this vocation.


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