PETALING JAYA: Malaysia School closures are impacting teachers as well as schoolchildren due to the Covid-19 pandemic, say educational activists who claim teachers are under pressure to ensure that no student is left behind.
The work-from-home order and online learning could disturb the working-life balance for teachers, Mak Chee Kin of the Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education said.
Working will be unlimited because anything can be done online.
They are, therefore, supposed to be accessible 24/7. That aside, parents depend solely on and have high expectations of teachers,’ he said.
Dedicated and responsible teachers will also feel the pressure to prepare online teaching materials, especially those who are not digital-savvy.
Mak added that there should be a systematic structure in the education ministry that covers the welfare of all teachers as well as others.
He also raised questions about teachers using their own money to supply resources for learning.
The Ministry of Education is the only ministry where its employees (teachers) have to use their own money to provide students with learning materials.’ On top of that the Ministry of Education does not prepare adequate equipment for teachers, such as computers and printers.
“In order to help students, teachers have to pay for their own materials, internet quota, and use their own gadgets, and yet some people tell them that they don’t do enough,” he said, adding that these issues will demoralise them in the long term.
Harry Tan, Secretary-General of the National Teaching Profession Union, said teachers were still burdened with work that was not connected with teaching.
The added duties would be to include parents in supervising the studies of their children, disciplining the children remotely and arresting the attention of the students through the monitor,” Tan said.”
Fatin Amirah, a Tenby International Primary School teacher, said parents had become more agitated and more frequently contacted teachers. “Most of the queries are about learning requests, how to support the learning of their children and how to prepare materials for the activities of their children in advance,” she said.
Fatin also claims that the closing of the school has caused the standard of teaching to decline. Our consistency of standards in teaching is disrupted. Physical classes encourage us to teach while demonstrating the content of the lesson and monitoring the progress of the students. But now it will be hard for teachers to determine the progress of students,’ she said.