2012, Arkib Berita, Forum, Masalah Guru, Pembangunan Sekolah, Rencana, Surat

EDUCATION: Collegiality key to school success

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

By Dr Dzulkiflee Abdullah, Bau, Sarawak 0 comments

I REFER to the comment by Datuk Dr Ibrahim Ahmad Bajunid in “When on the path of reform, go idea-hunting” (NST, July 6). His writings on whatever issues always fascinate me. The concluding statement mentioned “harmonious relations”. This catchy phrase is significant and has a great impact on teachers’ daily task, which is synonymous with professional harmony or collegiality among teachers.

Collegiality is critical to a school’s success. Successful and effective schools are ones in which there is a high level of collegiality among the staff. Therefore, teachers are expected to work closely with other teachers and school administrators. Schools cannot be improved without strong collegial environments. The traditional scenario where teachers work independently and alone in their classrooms should be a thing of the past.

In layman’s terms, collegiality refers to the cooperative and collaborative relationship among colleagues in a particular organisation. In the school context, collegiality is teachers’ involvement with their colleagues on any level, be it intellectually, socially, emotionally or more importantly, professionally. A collegial environment is one in which teachers are able to work with other teachers and teachers work well with administrators.

However, there might be small groups of teachers who are at odds with their colleagues and are united in hatred towards someone in the school. This scenario would hinder collegiality in such a school. Therefore, every teacher must be contributing to collegiality instead of presenting barriers to achieving it.

Collegiality is important for teachers, as they cannot work in isolation in order to sustain a professional and social contact among them to improve school performance. If such an atmosphere prevails, teachers enjoy much stronger support from their colleagues. Such a condition will encourage staff to contribute new ideas, suggestions and opinions. Teachers are more effective in such a scenario. In schools, where group commitment is high, teachers can work together effectively and put their efforts collectively into creating and sustaining opportunities for school improvement and students’ learning. This climate can also provide mental relaxation and a cheerful atmosphere, which is crucial in enhancing efficiency. Therefore, it is important for teachers to avoid isolation.

Collegiality among teachers is considered essential for a school’s improvement and success. The most promising strategy for sustained and substantive improvement is developing the ability among school personnel to function as collegial communities. Collegial communities create an environment that supports high levels of innovation, enthusiasm and energy among teachers.

If teachers enjoy working with their colleagues, mutual respect and trust develops among them. As such, school heads must encourage some collegial activities in their schools as these activities create a sense of belonging. They provide opportunities to involve many individuals in solving complex educational problems.

For schools to function effectively, collegiality is important as it can affect the performance of teachers, coordination of curriculum and the overall health of schools. In cases where unpleasant and abrasive working relationships exist, productivity is affected, student learning can be impacted negatively, the curriculum may become disjointed and fractured as teachers promote different philosophies and expectations of students.

School improvement programmes through introduction and implementation of changes can only be implemented if a high degree of collegiality exists among the staff members. Thus, schools with strong collegial environments are better able to implement changes than schools with weak collegial environments.

Although teachers spend nearly every working minute with students and have few opportunities for interaction with their colleagues, this claim should be no longer accurate. Collegiality, interaction, and collaboration among teachers are a must as this affects teachers’ morale, happiness, and satisfaction. Hence, collegial isolation should not be prevalent in schools though teaching itself is known for an “isolation of practice”. Thus, the level of collegiality must be sustained and be made to prevail.

Teachers must interact with each other more than ever before. A school cannot realise its full potential without cooperative interaction among its teachers. A teacher may choose to transfer out of a school for similar reason — the people they interact with, not the actual job. It is hard to be satisfied and happy in a teaching career when people do not get along. A successful school is built around teachers who work together as a team with high level of collegiality, collaboration, positive interaction, and cooperation. Teachers working together are more effective than a group of teachers working alone.

Read more: EDUCATION: Collegiality key to school success – Letters to the Editor – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/education-collegiality-key-to-school-success-1.112406#ixzz21ahwzwXc

2012, Arkib Berita, Forum, Pembangunan Sekolah, Peperiksaan, Rencana, Surat

Let standardised trial exams be fair

Wednesday July 25, 2012


IT is that time of the year when Form Three and Form Five students will be sitting for standardised trial exams set by their state education department.

I shudder to think that it will be a mockery of our education system if there are leakages in the question papers this time around.

This has been happening over the years. Last year, I highlighted this problem, and The Star carried the news in which the Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong commented that measures would be taken in future to ensure that there are no leakages.

I certainly hope that this year and in the coming years, all those concerned can ensure that the standardised trial exams can be carried out in a fair manner.

Otherwise, it would be meaningless and defeat the purpose of running such exams. I believe the main aim in having these exams is that the respective education departments can then gauge the performance of the schools under their purview and make changes to improve, if there is a need.

Let this be a reminder to the Education Ministry, the various education departments and offices, schools, teachers and clerical staff to carry out their responsibility in a just manner and ascertain that there are no leakages in any exams, be it mock or the real thing.


Subang Jaya

2012, Arkib Berita, Forum, Keibubapaan, Masalah Pelajar, Pembangunan Sekolah, Rencana

Educating the ‘what’s in it for me’ generation

Wednesday July 25, 2012


PETALING JAYA: More focus on basic etiquette is necessary to deal with the increasingly self-absorbed attitude of the younger generation, educators say.

Psychologist and lecturer Dr Adnan Omar said Malaysians’ bad manners can be attributed to society’s over-prioritising productivity and lack of emphasis on social norms, causing people to become increasingly selfish.

“Too much emphasis on this has produced a ‘what’s in it for me’ attitude. Every social encounter has to bring some sort of monetary benefit, or else it is not worth the effort. If I see rubbish on the floor, what’s in it for me to pick it up? If I take the time to hold the door for someone, what’s in it for me? Time is money, therefore there is no room for someone else’s feelings,” he said.

“Society needs to realise that even in the pursuit of economic development, we cannot forget to be civic conscious.

“Simple things like saying ‘thank you’ and holding open a door for others make all the difference.”

Teacher trainer Nga Johnson said the Moral Education and Civic subjects need to include topics like acceptable behaviour on social networks and handphone etiquette.

Nga, who served as a teacher for 36 years, said, however, that parents play the largest role in teaching the young to behave appropriately.

“Many parents today are too indulgent with their children.

“There should be basic household rules like not being allowed to use their handphones during meal times and greeting visitors who come to the house.

“If parents don’t instil these values in their children, who will?” she asked.

Society also has a role to play in inculcating good manners among youth, Nga said.

“We should not shy away from gently correcting someone younger if they are seen or heard being impolite,” she said.

Image consultant Rachel Sua said rude practices and inconsiderate behaviour have tarnished the image of Malaysians who are known to be friendly, warm and hospitable.

2012, Arkib Berita, ICT/Teknologi, Keibubapaan, Masalah Pelajar, Pembangunan Sekolah

Telefon bimbit di sekolah: Kerajaan perlu tegas

25 Julai 2012, Rabu


KUALA LUMPUR 24 Julai – Majlis Permuafakatan Persatuan Ibu Bapa dan Guru Nasional (PIBGN) menggesa kerajaan membuat keputusan tegas berhubung cadangan membenarkan pelajar membawa telefon bimbit dan iPad ke sekolah.

Presidennya, Prof. Madya Datuk Mohd. Ali Hassan berkata, selain mengganggu proses pembelajaran, ia juga boleh mewujudkan budaya tidak sihat dalam kalangan pelajar.

“Langkah membenarkan pelajar membawa telefon bimbit hanya akan menganggu tumpuan mereka pada sesi pembelajaran ketika berada di dalam kelas.

“Langkah itu juga dikhuatiri akan mengundang beberapa masalah lain seperti kecurian, penyalahgunaan dan wujud jurang antara berkemampuan dan kurang berkemampuan dalam kalangan pelajar,” katanya ketika dihubungi Utusan Malaysia di sini hari ini.

Beliau mengulas kenyataan Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin Khamis lalu yang menegaskan, belum ada sebarang keputusan dibuat terhadap cadangan membenarkan pelajar membawa telefon bimbit dan iPad ke sekolah.

Jelas Muhyiddin yang juga Menteri Pelajaran, perkara tersebut hanya salah satu cadangan yang diusulkan dalam mesyuarat Jawatankuasa Disiplin peringkat kementerian yang dipengerusikan oleh timbalannya, Datuk Dr. Wee Ka Siong beberapa minggu lalu setelah mengambil kira perkembangan teknologi terkini.

Mohd. Ali berkata, penggunaan peralatan alat komunikasi itu turut dilihat akan membebankan pihak sekolah daripada aspek kos dan masa.

“Saya bimbang ia akan meningkatkan kos pihak sekolah dalam menyediakan lokar khas untuk menyimpan peralatan elektronik itu kepada pelajar serta menambahkan beban guru untuk memantau sewaktu proses pembelajaran,” ujarnya.

Justeru jelasnya, kerajaan harus mengkaji perkara tersebut secara mendalam terlebih dahulu sebelum membuat sebarang keputusan agar ia tidak mendatangkan kesan negatif terhadap institusi pendidikan negara.