Reduce admin work on teachers: MoE

National 2 minutes, 19 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

SCHOOLS in the Sultanate should limit the amount of administrative and maintenance duties they have their teachers perform, allowing them to focus on the preparation and delivery of quality teaching.

In responding to concerns raised by education officers from the Department of Schools of the Ministry of Education (MoE) on the extra responsibilities of teachers, Chief Inspector of the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI Consultancy) from the United Kingdom, Christine Ryan said too much time spent on tasks not relating to teaching could adversely affect the overall quality of education delivered to students.

“Some of the issues (extra responsibilities) described to me were what I expected, but there were a few concerns that were unusual, and would not be considered normal practice in any other the other countries that we (ISI) have worked with,” she said.

These extra responsibilities include financial administration and maintenance, which according to the officers attending would take 25-30 per cent of a teacher’s working hours.

Ryan, who is conducting the two-day course for BTS which is currently in its “training” phase said BTS would be an overarching, comprehensive way of monitoring and improving the education delivered by teachers in Brunei.

“We have taken a lot from the system of standards used in the UK - as there is a lot of evidence proving its success and usefulness. Teachers like it, and the government supports it.”

In working with MoE, ISI have made BTS “sensitive” to Brunei; grooming it to “fit the organisation of schools in the Sultanate”, respecting the country’s social and cultural arrangements.

She noted that a unique challenge faced by Brunei was the language of instruction for core subjects being English, despite Bahasa Melayu being the nation’s first language.

“There is a temptation when teachers are explaining complex topics to use Malay, but this bring the disadvantage of students finding it difficult when it comes to examinations because they haven’t had as much practice and experience in using English – especially in explaining detailed information.”

She also noted that an important part of BTS will be the appraisal of teachers according to specified standards, to be conducted officials from the Department of Schools Inspectorate, who will make scheduled visits to schools and observe classes.

“In the UK, we’ve had a positive response from teachers (to the appraisal process). Rather than feeling like their being policed, teachers see it as a necessary help to assess and further improve their teaching,” she said.

“The objective of appraisal isn’t to come in every once in a while and criticize the teachers, and then leave.

"It’s an ongoing, interactive process with the inspectors, teachers and the management of schools in working together to deliver the best possible education to the student.”

The Brunei Times