Activists rail against ministry, DidikTV over scorned show


© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Don’t mock the teacher, question those responsible, says Teo Nie Ching.

PETALING JAYA: Activists have told the education ministry and DidikTV producers to take the blame for a widely panned show in which Standard Two pupils are taught about the reproductive system.

Former deputy education minister Teo Nie Ching said DidikTV teachers were just doing their job and should not be blamed for any bungle.

She said the ministry should exercise wisdom in the choice of teachers and ensure top notch content.

Social media users have been pouring scorn on a short clip of a teacher explaining procreation in poor English on the newly launched channel.

Teo said she was shocked to hear that teachers going live on the show had been told to write their own scripts when the relevant technical staff were at the ministry’s disposal.

“This is a trying period and our students deserve the best,” she said. “It is not the time for us to mock the teacher but to question those responsible, who are the education minister and others in the ministry.”

Teo also asked why the education programmes were not aired on a channel of public broadcaster RTM.

Malaysian Academic Movement chairman Zaharom Nain said all parties in the production of the DidikTV show were to be blamed for the bungle.

He said the script was awful and complained about the insertion of “not-so-subtle” opinions and ideologies which had no place in a science programme for Standard Two children.

“The casting director should be replaced for not doing his or her job,” he said.

Zaharom said the teacher should have declined the offer to appear on TV because she clearly had limitations with language.

”If it is said that she was following orders, then it’s our stupid, feudalistic ‘saya yang menurut perintah’ mentality that is to blame,” he said.

Zaharom also said the foul-up was a result, ultimately, of the “generational and perennial problems” plaguing the education system and he listed these as a poor grasp of English, poor training and low salaries for teachers.

“It is a system that does not pay teachers what they deserve,” he said. “It is a system that does not encourage meritocracy but kulitocracy.

“It’s a system that came up with this not-so-clever idea of starting up a new TV channel for education yet ignoring the variety of professionally-created education software resources that are available, many free, many online.

“It’s like reinventing the wooden wheel when we already have spare sports rims and tires available.”

Tunku Munawirah Putra of the Parent Action Group for Education asked if the lessons had gone through professional vetting before being aired on TV.

“Could this be a sabotage of the education ministry’s intention of improving the standard of English and the dual language programme?

“In the end, the losers are our children. The collateral damage are teachers who may give their best but do not realise that they can improve with guidance and effective training to reach their best potential.”

 

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