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Vox Pop: Teachers face test - Students give feedback on teaching standards across the Asia-Pacific

16.12.2011

Quality in both education and teaching is a challenge many countries face and one that requires input from a wide range of people; from governments and policymakers, to teachers and parents.

UNESCO asks young people across the Asia-Pacific region to share their views and experiences regarding the standard of teaching quality in their respective countries.

 

Lusciol Motamota, 25, Papua New Guinea

“Most teachers graduate from elementary and primary training colleges and universities; therefore they have different levels of teaching in Papua New Guinea. 

“I think, most of all, the teaching quality level in PNG is good. Teachers bring out many issues students may want to know about. Although they teach in English, they speak in the local languages like Tok Pisin to accommodate and facilitate the process. 

“During the time I was in school, teachers only taught in English, now they simplify lessons in local languages so that students understand better. Now I feel like I missed out on something that was not taught to us.”

Jernian Chew, 18, Malaysia

“I am born in a generation of teachers; my mother and three other aunts have been teaching in different regions of Malaysia for decades. 

“Having experienced both public and private education systems in Malaysia, I feel that public schools in Malaysia have lots of space for improvement, most notably the lack of quality teachers. 

“As the teaching profession is no longer seen as a desirable career choice, the talent pool is rapidly shrinking in the education sector. My high school experience was a grim reflection of the aforementioned shortcomings. 

“Many teachers I encountered had an unsatisfactory command of the English language and were largely unmotivated to push the envelope due to curriculum restrictions. I was nevertheless fortunate to have a few brilliant teachers throughout my formative years.”

 

Sidra Khan, Pakistan

“Teachers that are employed in government-funded schools are either not highly educated nor given basic training that would provide them with effective tools to impart knowledge to the younger generation who do attend school up to a certain time period. 

“The end result being a two-fold effect: little or nearly no education is actually taught to the child despite his or her potential; and children tend to ‘not like school’ or find it ‘boring’ since the teaching method does not engage with their understanding of the world around them. 

“This inevitably results in children dropping out of school at their own will.

“As a result, insufficient funding accompanied by the lack of properly trained teachers and a lengthy curriculum amount to the low standard of education in the country.”

 

Ummul Hasanah, 23, Indonesia

“The quality of teaching in my country, Indonesia, is generally not so good.

“It is really good in some places, especially in big cities like Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, or Medan with so many international schools there, but usually the teacher quality in rural areas is not good.  

“Since a lot of Indonesian parents do not really trust the quality of teaching in their children’s schools nowadays, they send their children to the extra class after school or invite the tutor to give extra lessons to the children. For a poor family, there is nothing they can do about it but ultimately to just accept the school system where their children study. 

“However, it would be better if the governments, supported by the people, fix the bad school infrastructures in rural areas and increase the quality of the teacher. All Indonesians should be able enjoy a quality education, their basic right as citizens.”

 

By Jeffry Peguero, UNESCO Bangkok