Thursday, May 19, 2011

Exploring the minds of the former Director-General of Education Malaysia

Dato' Ahamad Sipon. He stressed on the importance of continuous professional development of educational leaders in order to better understand the macro and micro structure of the education system. He also discussed at length on the roles, dispositions, attitude of the school leaders.

Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Abdul Rahman Arshad. He was passionately believe in the equity of education. Leaders should be able to identify the needs of the needy and think creatively in providing quality education to these disadvantage groups. He also pointed out that in order to be good leaders, one should put self-interest aside, and must focus on big picture of nation-building.

Tan Sri Dato' Dr. Wan Zahid bin Mohd Nordin : His ideas of leadership were focussed on how to manage change initiatives. Among the most important leadership attributes that he believed can bring about change effectively were 'clarity of role', 'leadership readiness", "task-focus", "commitment", "passion", "knowledge", "risk-taker", "courage", "engaging the stakeholders (politicians/NGOs)" and "self-confidence". He also stressed on two values that leaders should believe and subscribe on, i.e. "that all teachers are good" and " that all students can learn".

Tan Sri Dato' Alimuddin Md Dom : Emphasis is on school leadership that can maintain status quo. To him school leadership is about the art of influencing teachers to do their jobs effectively. Principals/Headmasters must be able to manage and administer school diligently in accordance with the standard procedures, rules and regulations.

Tan Sri Dato' Dr. Abdul Shukor Abdullah : School effectiveness is a function of leadership, and school leaders must continuously seek and enhance their knowledge through formal and informal self-development. He stressed on the importance of understanding the leadership theories that can helps leaders to make significant change in their schools.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

School Improvement Program for Indigenous Schools

RPS Kemar Primary School, Gerik, Perak, Malaysia

Involvement in this program had given me the insight of how to uplift the academic achievement for these remote and underprivileged children. Many factors accounted for the low performance of these schools which include school leadership, teachers' factors, monitoring system at district/state level and obviously the environment. I will discuss on the school leadership factor first.
RPS Banun Primary School, Gerik, Perak, Malaysia

1. Leadership : All headmasters in these schools are new and it was their first appointment to be a leader thus they have inadequate experience & knowledge particularly leading the underprivileged schools. Their accumulated prior experiences as teachers & senior teachers could not help much because there are huge gap in term of human capital, infrastructure, school environment, & surrounding community between their former schools and the present ones.

2. Teachers : Most of the teachers are young, energetic, enthusiastic but lack of experience since it is their first posting as teachers. They experienced cultural shock because the theories that they learnt at university/college could not be applied effectively. They also find difficulty in adjusting themselves within school and the surrounding community.