Monday, November 10, 2008
Several teachers in Brunei Darussalam have expressed mixed reactions towards the full implementation of the "SPN 21"
The Brunei Times interviewed local teachers who spoke of their readiness with adapting to the new system and the challenges that have yet to be considered before the full implementation in 2009.
Remy Salleh from Sayiddina Hussein Secondary School, 27, stated that it was time Brunei adapted to a new system. The Drama cum Geography teacher stated that Brunei is set back by 15 years already and is thrilled at the prospect of dropping their titles as teachers and acting as primary facilitators of classrooms instead.
"Gone is the chalk 'n' talk system. Where we used to treat students like parrots, we are now looking at 10 per cent of teacher roles in classrooms, the rest will be by the students, we act as guides, hence, we are the facilitators," he said.
"The SPN21 is geared towards student centred teaching. Given Bruneian schools, itis not shocking to hear that there are 30 to 40 students in a class. Bear in mind, in pupil-centred teaching there cannot be more than 25 pupils in the classroom," he said.
"If there are a huge number of students, it will reduce your focus and we will lack the time to monitor students properly," he said.
Although he hopes for the building of more schools, he stated that a more realistic idea would be for the authorities to consider reducing the catchment areas. "Give options for other schools to get students from these high catchment areas as well," he said.
She said that at the moment, there were no current textbooks, so teachers are to often scurry around for material everywhere for their students' notes. She also said that all schools are coming up with their own notes. "Form teachers are taking their notes from everywhere just to make preparations," she said. She also said that each school has different sets of syllabus notes which might not be properly aligned with the syllabus.
Noorhayati Hj Tuah, from Dato Mahawangs a Lambak Primary School, also stated another challenging factor of the new system which is how the students will be able to comprehend each syllabus and be able to effectively understand them.
She stated that the syllabus is focused more on the proficiency of the English language and for some students this might pose as a major problem in terms of understanding. She also stated that the MoE will be handing out the syllabus in December and also stated how there is still no transparency in the handling of the syllabus. "We haven't seen the syllabus yet and the teachers are still not prepared. They don't even really know what they will be teaching," she said.
However, she stated that these were minor problems that needed to be ironed out and stated that there was actually no problem in transparency when it comes to the new system and hopes that by working with MoE they will be able to overcome these challenges. -- Courtesy of The Brunei Times
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