KUALA LUMPUR, May 4 (Bernama) -- Teachers interested to give tuition should get the prior permission of the Education Ministry, Deputy Minister Datuk Hon Choon Kim said.
He said there were regulations covering teachers who received payment for giving tuition.
"They are required to write to the ministry to get permission before they do any task or work outside school hours except for teaching," he said when winding up the debate on the Supplementary Supply Bill (2005) 2006 at committee stage for the ministry in the Dewan Rakyat Thursday.
The Dewan later passed the bill which allocates RM10.9 billion to cover expenditure not provided for in Budget 2005 or shortfall in allocation.
Several MPs had during the debate expressed concern about the present trend of teachers giving tuition after school hours to earn extra income.
On another issue, Hon said the ministry was moving away from the exam-oriented school system to one that was task-based to increase awareness that education did not mean merely performance in examinations.
"However, it was up to parents to decide whether to send their children for tuition. There are parents who think good performance in examinations is the sole purpose of sending their children to school.
"I don't agree with that kind of thinking. It is not the best way to be educated," he said.
WHILE there are teachers who really do make an effort to teach our children properly in schools, there are also others who simply do not put their hearts in their work.
These teachers are mainly those heavily involved in the private tuition industry. After school and on weekends, they attend to their private tuition classes.
The number of students per tuition class may be as high as 50. These teachers earn a lot of money.
Most of them are specialised teachers, teaching Maths and Science, English and Bahasa Melayu. Despite receiving allowances from the government to teach Science and Maths in English, they are not satisfied.
These teachers “prey” on the very students they teach in schools by “inviting” them to join their tuition classes. Many students fear that if they do not take tuition under their teachers, they may lose out and fail to get good grades.
These teachers teach their tuition classes with passion and enthusiasm. But their teaching in school is shallow and hurried.
Such teachers are a disgrace to our education system because they are only looking out for themselves and not after our children. They are the black sheep of the teaching profession.
It is because of them that parents have to spend hundreds, and even thousands, of ringgit a year to tutor their children.
There is a general feeling that the standard of teaching in government schools these days is very low. This means that the government is wasting money on teachers, paying them although they are doing a lousy job.
In the meantime, parents are wasting money too, as they have to re-educate their children by sending them to tuition classes when the children should be receiving quality education in government schools.
With the prices of petrol and other commodities going up, it will become increasing harder for parents to fork out money for private tuition.
The Education Ministry should take stern action against teachers devoted to making money through private tuition because they are doing a disservice to the nation.
- SOONG MUN SEONG (Ipoh)