Roundtable discussions on Educational Reforms
Dr. Win Aung, Member of National Education Policy Commission.
- By Nandar Win,
Win Win Maw
Photo: Win Win
- By Nandar Win,
Win Win Maw
Photo: Win Win
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, Director-General (Duty), 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.
Moderator: Please explain on the difficulty with regards to shortage of teachers.
U Soe Tun Tun Naing: Everyone knows that male teachers are more capable in class control than female teachers; and on the other hand, female teachers edge over male teachers in terms of motherly love. They have enormous strength in motherly tenderness towards children.
However, in the management for the control of the class, male teachers have more capability, and therefore, more male teachers are needed in the management of school discipline. Looking at the teaching paradigm, we are heading towards multifaceted development covering five strengths, and therefore, the teachers could not instruct the students just to learn this and to learn that. The male teachers are more proper in extracting the creative thinking than the female teachers. This is one of the drawbacks in teaching as we are lacked in male teachers.
Always on my mind
In our schools, we are going ahead with the multifaceted development and five strengths education, where the female teachers participated with all the enthusiasm, however, the achievement is far less than the male teachers. Evaluating the school sports activities, I feel that our nation’s sports level is down, perhaps due to the fact that we do not have adequate male teachers in our schools. I am of the view that our sports level of the nation is down as we do not have male teachers.
Coordinator: What is the reason that the number of male teachers was decreased?
U Lin Lin Htaik: In the everyday school life, we have the teaching part, the relationship part among the teachers, the relationship between the teachers and the students, the relationship between the teachers and the school principal, and all these dealings need to be smooth and agreeable.
It is quite true that in some schools, there are only one or two male teachers, and a lot of people are talking about the future prospect of the male teachers. As the male is the bread earner and the household head, he is required to have substantial income to support the family members. Most of the male teachers talked about their lesser income, and that might be one of the reasons that they changed their jobs to another profession.
In keeping the male teachers in the loop
Despite the fact that the male teachers loved in teaching profession, they are not happy to be in the present class room atmosphere, as the class room setting have been changed in the present time.
In the past, the male teachers were happy to arrive inside the class room, but now, they wanted to run away from the class to get rid of the anxiety. It is related with the relationship with the students and the teachers, and that if we could reverse the situation, then we could keep the male teachers at the school.
Coordinator: Please tell us why you have chosen the profession of teaching.
Maung Arhman Htet: I have chosen this profession out of my dream that I had cherished and aspired since my childhood. Not necessarily to be a teacher, but I am interested in teaching.
As my parents transferred from one place to another on duty, I also had to transfer many schools during my school days. I had changed to seven schools in my life and had met only on male teacher up till Matriculation class.
I have had the feeling that the image of male teacher is not in my mind and soul, and mistook the concept that male is not suitable for teaching profession. This thought was in my mind until I attended fourth standard.
As I wanted to be a teacher, my parents supported my aspiration and dream. When I passed the Matriculation Examination, I did not catch up the marks to enter the University of Education, and therefore, I enrolled the Educational College. At that time, my friends who passed the Matriculation Examination were amazed and stunned and also regretted on my decision in joining Educational College. I replied that I wanted to be a teacher, either at the basic education department or at the university. I could be primary assistant teacher or university tutor.
My mother told me that a teacher must have the correct and right attitude of a genuine teacher so that the person would deserve the title of a teacher. Therefore, I joined the educational college; despite I had many options to choose.
If I was confused with the diverse comments of the relatives, I might not become a teacher. I wanted to be a senior assistant teacher, and in reality, I wanted to know more about the education situation.
In fact, the two years course at the college is quite enough, but I wanted to know more about the five years course. That was why I tried to get Bachelor of Education degree. If someone really wanted to be a teacher, one could become a teacher by trying hard.
Coordinator: Please tell us the plan in recruiting more teachers.
Dr. Win Aung: The scarcity of teachers is occurring not only in Myanmar, but in many countries of the world. The art of teaching and the educational profession are considered more appropriate and suitable to women, and this notion has been embedded in the collective psyches of many countries in the world. This concept has now become out of date across the world.
When we look at the World Bank statistic, Myanmar had (55) per cent female teachers assigned at the Basic Education High Schools in 1980. In the year 2000, the female teachers rose to (75) per cent. Now, it is (82.5) per cent composed of female teachers.
The outlook and attitude of the public over the teaching profession should be altered and changed. The Ministry of Education and the stakeholders must put this teaching profession under limelight and draw the attention of male and female in taking up as valuable and esteemed career.
In making the teaching profession as a firm, sound and solid occupation, we are prescribing and laying down standard norm and criteria at the initiative of the Ministry of Education. As part of the reform agenda in Myanmar, we need to change the work environments of teachers and promotion policies so male teachers can take a leading role. Otherwise, men would turn to other livelihoods.
Our rules and regulations being applied in the education sphere in the past had increased the number of female teachers out of proportion, and therefore, we need to change with straightforward ways in the posts of the teachers in all schools.
Such prescriptions are already incorporated in the National Education Law, where the teachers shouldering various subjects are not to be discriminated among themselves, and that all the treatment should be updated into reform program.
Moreover, in addition to the ranking of the posts of the teachers in the education sphere, other outlets and separate lanes for future prospects and careers should be opened up for them. These are the factors and aspects to be considered for the teachers in the field of teaching.
(To be continued)
Translated by UMT (Ahlon)