KUALA LUMPUR – It all began with the realignment of clerical duties of police personnel to the Support Group (AKP) within the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM).
The initiative has reduced the crime rate significantly as more police personnel are deployed to perform the essential task of maintaining public order and security on the ground.
Taking a cue from PDRM’s success, the Teachers’ Profession Enhancement Pilot Programme was launched in Malacca in 2013. The placement of administrative assistants in schools duplicated PDRM’s success as it reduced the workload of teachers and enabled them to focus on their primary duty of teaching.
Computer technicians were also placed in schools to reduce the operations and administrative workloads of special task teachers, namely Data Teachers, the Library and Media Teachers and the Bestari Coordinator Teachers.
The ministry has comprehensively addressed the issue of teachers’ administrative workload, teachers’ option mismatch, multiple data entry and overcrowded classrooms through collaboration with the Public Service Department (JPA), State Education Departments, Educational Technology Division, Teacher’s Activity Centre, District Education Offices, teachers and non-teaching staff in selected schools.
The programme has shown significant results, particularly in reducing the number of man-hours of non-teaching related tasks.
The placement of administrative assistants to help Data Teachers has helped reduce an average of 7.4 hours per week on data-related tasks, 6.9 hours per week for Library and Media Teachers and an average of 3.0 hours a week for other teachers.
Technical assistants placed in schools had also reduced an average of 5.2 hours per week for technical and ICT-related tasks previously performed by Bestari Coordinated Teachers.
Teachers will now be able to focus more on students’ academic progress without being hindered by the administrative workload.
Based on the findings from the Educational Management Information System (EMIS), as of July 2013, a total of 21,175 out of 59,772 teachers in Selangor had mismatched options.
The pilot study conducted applied 12 Labelling Criteria Instrument for teachers which proved successful in eliminating the number of mismatched options for 1,193 teachers in the state.
The ministry also had multiple systems that were developed and functioned independently to collect data from schools. This included over 28 apps including e-Kerja, e-Nazir and e-Perlu.
To ease the teachers’ task of keying in data on education, the ministry launched the Sistem Pengurusan Sekolah app and implemented it in all schools under it.
The single data entry mechanism combines three core systems namely EMIS, Sistem Maklumat Guru (SMG) and Aplikasi Pangkalan Data Murid (APDM), all of which require regular updates from the schools.
With the move, the ministry has managed to reduce as many as 718 fields to key-in while improving the integrity of data sharing from a single integrated source.
In terms of overcrowded classrooms, a total of 40,240 classes out of 171,508 classes nationwide were experiencing a spillover of enrollment of 35 students per class, based on a 2013 finding from EMIS.
The problem is most prevalent in Selangor. Of 26,549 classes in Selangor, 12,620 were overcrowded.
Hence, more school buildings are being built, particularly in urban areas, to cater to the overwhelming increase of student enrollment.
In 2015, seven new schools were opened in Selangor. Four are in Hulu Langat, two in Petaling Perdana and one in Kuala Langat.
In addition, the Ministry has also partnered with private developers to revisit the local authorities ruling on the construction of new schools.
LINKED GOVERNMENT POLICY
Various consistent engagements with education personnel have been conducted by the Ministry.
Dialogue sessions were held on Oct 31, 2013 in Malacca and Nov 5, 2014 in Sabah, helmed by the Director General of Public Service as an outreach programme to solicit feedback from teachers in garnering better insights and ideas in improving the ongoing initiatives.
The Repositioning of Teachers to Their Core Duties initiative is in line with the Government Transformation Programme through the Malaysia Education Blueprint (PPPM) 2013-2025, which focuses on transforming the teaching profession into a profession of preference, for the betterment of the Malaysian education system as a whole.
This article was written by the Education Ministry Secretary-General Tan Sri Dr Madinah Mohamad and the Education Director General Datuk Seri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof.