Saturday, October 25, 2008

Waste of time

The course I attended was a total waste of time? Why? It is certainly not because the the philosophy of the issue was wrong. It was a good thing. But the organisers have not even decided on many things and they made us go for the course. And the people who handled the course were just incompetent. I would rate this as the most useless course I have ever attended. In addition, we are all expected to do LOTS of paper work before the school holiday starts. I don't know. It all sounds just too disorganised.
So what is it that we went for, Putt and I? It has something to do with identifying students who are GIFTED, TALENTED AND INTELLIGENT! There is a survey we are supposed to conduct whereby the teachers will have to rate their students with regards to ELEVEN aspects, from academics to drama to musical and artistic. Tell me, just how is this teacher here going to rate a student on her musical abilities .... tone, timbre, pitch, etc .... when I am NOT a reliable person to do it? How am I to rate the student on her artistic abilities when I know NUTS about art? And so we argued, most of the participants and the speaker and organiser. So, from 11 aspects, it is now down to 4 aspects. And yet the survey will tax every teacher to craziness because we we all have to rate the Form 2 and 3 students we teach. The last count, I teach 59 Form 3 students. I am to rate 59 students?? Crazy or what? And these 59 students will also be rated in part by some of their other teachers. Results of the survey must be in by the holiday. Hello ... we are 3 weeks away from the holidays. Actually we are 1 1/2 weeks away from the holiday if you look at the fact that next week we're in school 2 days and the final week is off for the Form 3 students. Plus MANY teachers will be away for SPM invigilation and PMR marking, and lots of other duties. The teachers who teach Forms 1 and 2 will be busy marking after Deepavali. So ... are we expected to just perform a miracle? Get everything done ASAP and disregard everything else?
That's what irks me to no end. I mean, it is GOOD and FINE that we want to identify students who are gifted, talented and intelligent (GTI). But the people in the ministry have not even done a proper organisation of the entire project. Who is going to do what? Once identified, what next? Who are the people who will handle the GTI students? Are they going to be pulled out of their normal classes for individualised lessons? Or are they going to remain in class but given extra attention? Or maybe they should be placed in a school for the GTIs. The whole thing is ideal and fantastic but the logistics of things is NOT. I can just hear the moans when we get back to school and tell everyone that they have THIS to do in addition to the MANY things they have to complete by year end. Yes, the word CLUSTER is slowly and surely turning into a double-edged sword. It is an honour, but it is also a curse because whatever pilot project will come to us. We will be the people who are guinea pigs. As if we don't already have enough on our plates.
At least if the powers that be have organised things, they know their directions and when we ask questions, we are enlightened. As it is, we are in the dark. We don't see how this whole project is going to work. The implementation of the project will be worse than difficult. I can just see us all being called for a Part 2 and 3 and 4 of the course to help enlighten us.

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