Monday, April 19, 2010

Confession of a Singapore School Teacher

From: "truth"
Subject: Confession of an ex- teacher

"When competition becomes too intense and working hard alone is not enough
to attain your dreams - people will resort to excessive risk taking,
unethnical, unfair, unhealthy & immoral ways to get what they want. What
emerges out of this intense competition is not a better, stronger and
cohesive society that can take on world but a selfish, unhappy one that is
bogged down by the numerous failures it creates internally"

I would like to share this truth as an ex-teacher in a secondary school. I
taught for 5 years and what I saw and experience was really sad. And since
this will never see the light of States Times, I would like to reproduce my
experience of what you wrote about in schools.

The EPMS system that was introduced where each teacher is ranked in the
school which ultimately decides their performance and bonus has created a
climate in school where teachers lie, cheat, manipulate, condescend, taunt,
form cliques and segregate.

I'm surprised my teacher friends and I managed not to fall apart in such a
climate. Teachers are observed and ranked in a room with all the HODs and
principal. I was told to look at my colleagues as my competitors. Each
teacher was trying to outdo the other and office politics was rife in
schools. It wasn't a school and I sympathise with the students at the amount
of abuse they get. Teachers make use of pupils to win competitions for
themselves so that they could gain leverage during performance ranking. This
is dispiriting. Do not get me wrong. I'm a performer and I did well while I
was in the vocation but I had to leave because the environment that MOE has
created in the teaching profession today is so bad, that many remain single,
burnt-out or jaded. When I was there, they had a Teacher Renewal programme
where teachers learn to meditate but the crux of the systemic problem was
not corrected. It is no surprise why the government insist on bonding
teaches for 3 years. The attrition rate is very high and it is no surprise
to those still in the profession. 40% of the teaching fraternity has than 4
years of teaching. 60% are less than 8 years of experience. But for the 3
year bond, many would have left earlier and I know 2 teachers who broke
their bonds while I was there.

We are promoting a cold society. And teachers are pitted against one
another, you morally corrupt them. I wonder how many teachers out there
would speak out. I suppose most would rant on MyForum, MOE's teachers portal

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