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June 26, 2019

“When a person really devotes himself to a life of teaching, then he knows he is making a positive contribution to his nation, and will never think about quitting his job”: U Ko Lay Win, Director-General (Duty)

Roundtable discussions on Educational Reforms

  • U Ko Lay Win, Acting Director-General
  • By Nandar Win,
    Win Win Maw
    Photo: Win Win

(Continued from previous article appeared on the issue of 8th January, 2019)
The Myanma Radio and Television broadcast a program in collaboration with the Department of Alternative Education (Non-formal Education and Lifelong Learning) on the role of teachers and additional recruitment of male teachers. The panelists are Dr. Than Oo, Director-General (Retired), Basic Education Department, Ministry of Education; U Ko Lay Win, Acting Director-General, Basic Education Department, Ministry of Education; Dr. Aung Aung Min, Deputy Director-General, Higher Education Department, Ministry of Education; Dr. Win Aung and U Tun Hla, Members of National Education Policy Commission; U Soe Tun Tun Naing, Principal, Basic Education Middle School Number 9, Insein Township, Yangon Region; U Lin Lin Htaik, Senior Assistant Teacher, Basic Education High School Number 4, Thingangyun Township, Yangon Region; Maung Arhman Htet, Fifth Year Student, Yangon University of Education.

Coordinator: Please tell us a possible solution with regards to scarcity of male teachers.
U Tun Hla: I would like to add this issue into the broader arrangement, which should be implemented through the township, district and region levels in long term plan in seeking the solution for scarcity of male teacher.
Coordinator: Do you have more to add.?
Dr. Win Aung: I am of the view that the previous concept and notion that the teaching profession is quite appropriate and suitable with the women must be altered and changed first. In changing this idea, the male teachers and the female teachers must prove that their vocation and job is based on skill and proficiency and that it is to be projected to the public and draw the attention to recognize the utility of the teaching profession.
Ideal showcase
Secondly, the male teachers in the education sphere must step forward and showcased himself as ideal person on behalf of all the teachers and the students.
Thirdly, all the teachers must show their talents and powers towards the nation with focus on the role of male teachers with the drive in filling up the male teachers in the teaching workforce at all schools. Such fine perception on the role of male teachers must be disseminated among the public.
U Ko Lay Win: I would like to share my point of view on the issue of scarcity of male teachers which is mostly related and based on the benevolence, hobby and sacrifice.
When a person really loves and devotes himself in a life of teaching profession, then he knows his orientation of being a countryman who makes a positive contribution for his nation, and would never ever to think about quitting his teaching job. I am now (56) years old, and that I have devoted (14) years as a teacher, and then transferred as Education Planner.
The first priority is to organize the youth with the concept to be embedded in their mindset that they have the main responsibility of taking part in the education sector.
Those students who are attending the pre-service training courses must be injected with the notion of finer quality of benevolence, hobby and sacrifice so that they would have high impression in the teaching profession, and would never ever quit the job.
Before actually attending the teachers training courses in my younger years, I have no desire at all working as a teacher; however, the training course had changed my mind as the lessons that I learned had full of aspiration and finer objective of the life of a teacher. This should be included in the teacher’s training perspective.
Review
Another point is in keeping the teachers in the teaching domain, and that the task is connected with the Basic Education Department. We need in drafting the career pathway for the teachers in creating Continuous Professional Development or Professional Development in the process of Lifelong Learning.
We must also think about their promotion, and the issue is on the agenda.
Lastly, I would like to talk about the marketing model that is very much vital and essential to be implemented while the students are still in the classrooms. Moreover, the community and the society as whole must understand and appreciate the valuable service in becoming a teacher in the country, which is the lifeline of the nation.
This information and message is to be conveyed to the parents in the country, and that the media must keep in mind to convey from time to time to the nation on the importance of teachers.
Dr. Aung Aung Min: Allow me to say about our culture and tradition in the nation that all the girls intended as teachers while all the boys look forward to take the job as doctor, engineer or military officer. When the boys are heading for the teaching profession, the relatives and friends are amazed and surprised. It is related with our culture.
The educational colleges conferred only diploma and there is a requirement two years in getting the job as Primary Assistant Teacher. If one wanted to become a Junior Assistant Teacher, the person needs to take up a degree at the University of distance Education in acquiring a B.Ed, and that is why, the students are not enthusiastic in attending our educational colleges.
Uplifting degree colleges
The University of Education is preferred by the students as the pathway is straight ahead that of five years schooling, that of getting B. Ed degree, and that of becoming a Senior Assistant Teacher. That might be one of the reasons our colleges are not preferred.
In coming December 2019, our educational colleges would be upgraded to four years status, and then we would confer university degree certificate after four years stints. Therefore, the students are not required to change other universities.
We would be offering Primary Assistant Teacher (Special) and Junior Assistant Teacher (Special), and that the posts are restructured into promotion system. Our existing promotion system is not from one level to other level such as from PAT to JAT, and then from JAT to SAT. The pay scale within the JAT would be enhanced to higher scale, and that we need to discuss in detailed on this matter with other ministries.
With teacher’s moral principles
Another factor is that we need to equip our educational colleges with more attraction and desirability.
Moreover, we need to make research work with regards to the teaching of female teachers such as that of the number of primary schools with only female teachers without a single male teacher; that of middle schools with only female teachers without a single male teacher; that of the capability and competence of the students coming out of such schools compared to students of other schools that have equal ratio of male and female teachers.
Only then, we would be able to assess and evaluate whether the excess number of female teachers resulted with good results or otherwise.
The ground reality is that we need to conduct a research project.
There was a paper reading session at the basic education seminar in connection with the same issue, and that majority of the participants were of the common and sensible view that the most important element was to select the person with the mindset of a teacher.
However, we are now selecting on the basis of mark achievements and on the origin of being local residents of the area.
The participating teachers at the seminar asked for students with the state of mind of a teacher, and that no other factors are necessary.
If one has the mentality and outlook of a genuine teacher and then join the teaching profession at the Basic Education Department, then things would be fine and smooth in their functioning. These are the points that the participants at the seminar had voiced on the issue. Thanks for all the arrangements.

Translated by UMT (Ahlon)

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