PM's Suggestion For Single Schooling Session 'Not Conducive' Says NUTP
Its secretary-general, Lok Yim Pheng said although the proposal was rational it would be more suitable in 10 years time when the schools were equipped with the infrastructure. "At present the infrastructure is not complete, a lot of facilities need to be repaired.
"If the school session is to be extended there must be rest areas for students, the canteens have to serve nutritious food, all these have to be reviewed and need time," she said when contacted by Bernama here today.
Lok was asked to comment on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's suggestion that a single schooling session be introduced where the pupils stayed until 4pm for co-curricular activities, sports or study period to complete their homework.
The suggestion was deliberated at the Umno Supreme Council meeting yesterday which discussed the safety of children following the murder and rape of Nurin Jazlin Jazimin, 8.
Lok said the facilities in schools were still not conducive while parents and teachers were not ready for the single session. "Teachers have to think of the best learning method or rearranging their activities to suit the long hours in schools.
"Extending the school hours entailed additional cost and most people are not ready yet," she added.
***** Teachers and their unions should not outrightly dismiss the PM's suggestion. If the single session in schools can be successfully implemented in developing countries with large populations which lack uniformity in facilities and staffing, there is no reason why the extended session should not work here. Surely it does not take a decade to be 'fully prepared' or wait for a more 'conducive' atmosphere.
Perhaps teachers have to work on their attitude and psychologically adapt to the idea of putting in more active hours in school, especially the tuition giving ones. If it is solely infrastructure issues which are the impediment I'm sure the government will ensure a higher allocation to accommodate the required changes. More importantly parents and teachers have to give their wholehearted support for the suggestion instead of thinking up excuses to maintain the present unsatisfactory status quo.
Sarawak Teachers' Union (STU) president William Ghani Bina although supporting the idea, worries that irresponsible parents may treat schools as childcare centres. That is definitely a valid point. He also says that it should only be implemented once a thorough study is conducted by the Education Ministry. I think that's a fair proposition and the Ministry, if it is serious in listening to Pak Lah's advice, should get on it right away. Surely it won't take ten years for them to come out with some solid plans to get the single session up and running.
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