It Has Been Awhile…

It has been a while since I have been on Steemit. Since a good three months ago, I have been stuck with the same project that has kept me occupied every night for a while now. That project has been my PhD thesis.

The Last Few Months…

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I have been working on my Ph.D. thesis for the last three years. A few months back in Oct 2019, I was called for my Viva, which is the time where they get to assess how good (or bad) my work was. I had an inkling about how bad things were going to go. However, I had no idea the extent of the carnage that would ensue. So I would not bore you with the details of my thesis. But, a few days before my viva, I received news that my supervisor would not be there with me. There was a death in the family and he had to go away.

Normally, that would not be an issue, but having him there to help me with my case with the panel would have been better. So on that day, after presenting for about half an hour, the panel got down to questioning me for the next 3 hours. I assumed all would go well. It did not. I assumed that I did a good job, but it was not. So after the entire assessment, I was slapped with a 12 month correction period. What that means is that I have 12 months to correct all my work that the panel deemed to be unsatisfactory. The “recommended” correction was more than 80% of my work.

Thus, with this result, I have been spending nearly every night and some early mornings trying to get it done. Though many have pointed out that I did not fail, but what would you call a work that is 80% wrong?

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Imagine putting all that effort into something for the last three years and being assured that it would all be ok, only to find out that it was not. Now, I have been ordered to complete a work that took me three years to complete, in a few months. Talk about achieving the impossible. Some have called it a setback and others have mentioned that it was a mere bump in the road.

I would disagree.

The thing is, there are some very serious repercussions with the results. For one, my sponsors would slap me with a big fat fine for not graduating on time. If it were my fault, I would have no one to blame. But after yearly positive reports on my performance, it comes as a shock to know that my work was on the wrong track all along.

So What Now?

I really don’t know, to be honest. I had the benefit of not working and staying home for the last years. That was why I had time to complete a 90,000-word long thesis. Now that I am back at work, that task seems rather daunting.

But, the way I see it, I have two options. I could either stay where I am and complain. Or move on. Thus, I have chosen to move on. So, wish me luck and pray for me. I would rather be writing here every night but alas, that will not be happening for the next few months.

That being said, I still believe in Steemit and what it is. So much so that I have started introducing Steemit to my college and incorporating it into our assignments. Over the last few weeks, we have signed up 60 students and most of them have gotten their accounts approved! I’m still excited to see how can Steemit be applied at the tertiary level. I just wish that I had more time with it instead of my thesis.

Oh well, this was fun, now back to work…

The Unreliable Yardstick: Exam Grades

One of the goals that many parents strive for is a good education for their children. The definition of a good education often means obtaining good exam grades. While that is not something bad to strive towards, good exam grades have become a form of measurement, a yardstick that is unreliable.

Good Grades = Good Future?

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Now, if your goal is to get an “A” for every paper your child sits for, then you can stop reading right now, this article is not for you. However, if you intend to use good grades to secure a good future for your child, then read on.

You see, good exam grades may not necessarily guarantee you a good future. Yes, it gets you through the door of a good school and eventually a good university. However, there will come a time when an “A” or a high-grade point average is just not enough.

This is because more and more students are being trained on WHAT to answer to get good exam grades. However, most of them are not trained in HOW to do so. On one hand, being trained on WHAT to answer can merely be a regurgitation of facts. However, knowing HOW to do so will teach the child not just facts but the ability to be persistent and self-directed.

This can be achieved by teaching the child how to analyze their weaknesses and strengths in completing a particular paper. Conventionally, whenever a child does not do well in the exam, they are given the right answer. However, this often creates a reliance on the child to the teacher, making them unable to think for themselves, let alone being aware of why they made the mistake in the first place.

Good Students and Independent Thinkers

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I believe that future employers will be looking for those who are not just great academically but those who are critical, creative and independent of thought. In order for them to do so, they should be taught how to be persistent. This means never giving up no matter how tough things get. I remember seeing some college students with extremely good exam grades in school giving up on a course when things got a bit too tough.

In addition, a good student should be someone who takes the initiative academically and in their work. In order to do so, they should not merely be trained on how to answer all the right answers but know how to analyze why they fail or how to do better. This is a skill that can only be learned through failing.

In order for that to be achieved, failing should be encouraged. Not necessarily just in exams, but in the students’ tasks, homework, and activities. Through this, the students will hopefully learn how to evaluate their own work better. This would eventually lead to students taking more ownership over their learning and future. As seen in this article here.

Conclusion

Preparing a child to do well is not an easy task and should not be measured merely by good exam grades. As such, we have to prepare and equip the children with more than just the ability to score well but the ability to persist and be independent in their studies and in the future, their work.

How To Earn Extra Income As a Teacher

Over the years, there have been many who have insinuated that the teaching profession is a low to mid income profession. There is some truth in that since the pay of teachers in most countries is not considered high. Thus, there are many teachers who are looking for ways to earn some extra income. In this post, we will be exploring some of these ways of how you can make some extra income with a bachelor’s degree in education or just as a teacher.

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Private Tutoring

Private tutoring is one of the more lucrative ways to earn some extra income. This method is especially effective in eastern countries such as China, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. These countries are rather exam oriented and thus, there is a huge market for teachers to better prepare students for exams.

If you happen to be teaching in an exam-oriented country, you can start by first advertising your services. After that, do consider who your students are. In general, students come for tuition either for remedial or enrichment purposes. Thus, if your students require remedial work, do consider helping them out in what they have been taught in school. You can help fill the gaps for difficult concepts that they may not understand in school.

If your students are already doing rather well in school, you can enrich their learning experiences by giving them content that is outside of their school syllabus. Such content, of course, must be built upon what they are learning. You can focus on helping them apply concepts that they have learned in school in real life. Thus, teaching them how to apply what they have learned not only for exams but later on in their life.

Write a Book

If you have been teaching for as long as I have, you will have a lot of stories to tell as a teacher. I have been teaching for the last ten years and I have nearly a year’s worth of stories published on my blog. Shameless promotion, I know. However, why not consider publishing your stories in a book? Your stories may be able to inspire the next generation to take up teaching as a profession.

You could also publish methods on how to control your class. This is especially valuable for new teachers who are seeking ways to control their class. As a teacher trainer, I find that more than 90% of the time, new teachers are stumped when it comes to controlling their class.

Another idea that is worth pursuing is to write a book understanding complex concepts in your area of expertise. If you are a good mathematics teacher, you probably have many ideas on how to help students navigate the complexities of algebra. Why not put that in a book? I am sure this would help many teachers and students. I even wrote one on my own.

Pursue a Postgraduate Degree

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I find that education is a field where the more qualified you are academically, the better the opportunities. One great advice I was given when I started teaching was to pursue a postgraduate degree. I did not see any value in it. This was partly due to my view of what a good teacher should be. I felt that all I had to do, was teach.

However, what convinced me to pursue a postgraduate degree was the fact that having a masters or a Ph.D. helps in opening more opportunities. If I wanted a promotion of any kind, a postgraduate degree was a prerequisite. Also, if I wanted better pay in another institution, a postgraduate degree does help in commanding a higher pay and thus, extra income.

As such, why not try pursuing a postgraduate degree. There are many types of postgraduate degree ranging from coursework to research. With the right fit and a bit of sacrifice, you may just change your financial future for the better. Sacrifice in this case, of course, refers to money and time.

Write a Module

A postgraduate degree may be prerequisite for better job opportunities, however, it leads to so many other great opportunities for extra income. That comes in the form of writing modules. Modules, in this case, refers to course modules for university or college.

In order to achieve this, you will have to do some self-promotion. You can do so via blogs, LinkedIn or through word of mouth. It will not be long before you get noticed. Of course, I do recommend attending conferences relating to your field. It is through that you may get connected to colleges or universities looking to hire writers for writing a curriculum for a new course. It is through writing such modules that you can get paid a bit of an extra income.

Alternatively, you can try writing and producing modules of your own. Platforms such as Teachable are excellent for promoting courses of your own. You can sell your courses for some extra income. If your modules are good, I am pretty sure that word of mouth would spread pretty quickly.

Become a Consultant

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If you have written some form of a module or if you are in a position of authority, you can consider becoming a consultant. As a consultant, you may be approached by education startups or companies for advice on all things education. Your input is valuable in helping these companies design education products that will sell. In the process of doing so, you may get paid some extra income for your troubles.

Now, there is, of course, no hard and fast way to achieve this. Not only will you need some sort of qualification, but you will also need to know those who are working in these education startups. Do consider asking those who are working in these education startups for a cup of coffee, share your thoughts and ideas with them. Even if you are not hired, at least you would have gotten to know someone else in the industry.

Alternatively, do consider starting your own consultancy online. You could promote your services and even blog about certain problems and solutions in education that you are passionate about.

Coach (Sports)

Now, if furthering your studies is not something that you aim to do, perhaps you could consider a side hustle as a coach or trainer. You can take a quick course in a sport and get certified. After that, you can start a class training students for some extra income. I believe that being a coach in any sport can earn you some extra income.

However, I do find that swimming is one of the few sports that pay rather well. Of course, I may a bit biased since I am a swimming coach myself, but many parents see the importance of swimming as a form of precaution. Some may send their children after hearing of a drowning incident in the local community. Morbid, I know, but these parents just want the assurance that their child could save themselves if they happen to fall into a pool.

As a swimming coach, you can start your own classes or promote your services to a school. If you get hired or manage to find students to teach, your business will grow rather quickly and thus earn you some extra income. I remember starting my coaching gig at a local community center. I was a competitive swimmer so I was hired immediately. However, they were also hiring adults with some swimming experience just to teach younger children.

Coach (Debating and Public Speaking)

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Alternatively, if you are quite good at debating, singing or public speaking, there are many schools who are looking to hire you. I remember a time when money was short and I had to plan for my wedding. Planning, in this case, means my wife plans and I would pay. Thus, I promoted my services as a coach in debating and public speaking on a local community site. The response I received was pretty good. I even got a call from a local oil and gas company to train their staff.

Conclusion

All in all, no matter what side gig you aim to get in, you just have to put in the time and hard work. It is through persistence and building a brand for yourself that you will be able to make some nice side income.

I always see the teaching profession as a job where you have to be an expert in something but know everything as well. That is why there are many training courses and conferences for you to attend in order to learn a new skill. As such, keep learning, keep exploring and while you are at it, build a nice side income stream.

The Fear & Doubt I Face In My Studies

It has been about a month since I last wrote on Steemit. It has been a month wrought with uncertainty as I am now in my final leg of my PhD studies. Ever since I started this journey of mine, it has been filled with increasing uncertainty and doubt. I want to rant on and on about how fearful I am of my future as well as the doubt I face. Instead, I would like to share what I have learned thus far.

But, before that, let’s begin with a bit of context.

The Fear, The Doubt

 

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I started studying for my PhD nearly 3 years ago. When I was given the opportunity, I thought to myself that if I paced myself and was consistent, I would be fine. I was wrong.

Throughout the 3 years my PhD project morphed was akin to a roller coaster ride. At its high, I would ace presentations and accomplish my objectives ahead of schedule. At its low points, I have experts questioning if I was sure with what I was doing. However, as time went by, when the battles lost started overtaking the battles that were won, I begin to doubt myself.

I doubt if I was on the right track. I started doubting my ability, my ideas and my work. That doubt slowly transformed into fear. I fear that if I were to be wrong,  my three years of work were for nothing. I fear that if I was not able to finish my work on time, I would be penalized. Yes, I am expected to complete this or else my government would impose a fine on me for not completing my work and a fine of 170,000 Steem is not a sum that I am willing to part with.

So what did I do?

I Powered On… Because…

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I really did not have a choice. My only option was to power on with my work. As such, I went into a Steemit Hibernation Mode or a Steembernation mode. I took the time I normally would use to work on my Steemit post and doubled my efforts in perfecting my project.

It was not easy I was so sick at looking at my thesis that there were days that I felt like vomiting, staring at my screen. However, my other alternative was to not do anything and wallow in self-pity. As such, I powered on despite how much I disliked it. I powered on because there were no other options left for me. I told myself that even if I were to fail, at least I would fail fighting.

That being said, even if I powered on, my hard work was not a guarantee that I would succeed. Even after all those nights, I still may fail. In other words, what do I do with things that are out of my control?

So What About The Things You Can’t Control?

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Some aspects of my evaluation are out of my control because of a difference of opinion. My evaluator may have a difference in opinion with how I perceive the project and may decide to fail me. As such, there is an element that is beyond my control in all this. Many people would choose different ways of curbing with this.

I, however, have found leaving it all to God to be in control. Basically, leaving it to the divine to take a load off my chest. I have always believed that there are just some things that are just beyond my control.

I have a good few months left before I have to face the panel. Hopefully, I pass with flying colors. While I can’t be sure how I would fare, one thing is for sure, I will not go out without a fight. Hopefully, you find this post inspiring and if it echoes with you in whatever situation that you are facing, do drop me a comment below.

E-Learning is Fake

I attended a very interesting talk a few days ago. The reason was that I heard that someone who knew much about teaching in the digital age would be speaking. I was interested to know how I could educate my students and children for the next generation. However, things turned out to be rather different.

Before I continue any further, I would like to first point out that I respect the speaker for what he has done for underprivileged children. However, I do disagree with a lot of his ideas. I find that his points go against the many articles and papers that I have reviewed.

All E-Learning Is Fake

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After approximately half an hour, things became rather… interesting. The speaker postulated that much of the technology that we see these days are the reason that our students and children are so. He linked the lack of attention and the children’s inability to study to computer games and the pixel per inch (PPI) of smartphones.

The speaker however provided evidence of this from a medical point of view. Much of the evidence provided was related to how the brain and its chemistry reacts to smartphone screens. Because of this, the speaker pointed out that all research done on teaching and learning using technology is fake. In other words, he believes that E-learning does more harm to teaching and learning.

The speaker further pointed out that teaching and learning should not involve any form of technology until the children are at least 12 years of age.   As such, he believed that no matter how positive a study may be, it is all but fake.

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My Thoughts

As a lecturer who advocates the use of technology in the classroom, I have found his claim to be rather far-fetched. Thus, I questioned him about his claim about the use of Minecraft and other games to improve learning. He claimed that all those studies and research were paid for by the company.

One member of the audience who was a doctor even questioned the speaker, asking how he could make such a claim when many of us learned through shows such as sesame street. In fact, he was an avid gamer who did rather well for himself without the ill effects as pointed out by him.

I believe however that his findings are marred by bias. The speaker apparently works with many children who have been addicted to computer games. As such, it is possible that what he claimed to be true is marred by his past experiences.

In addition, if you limit your vision to a specific field of studies, you will continue to see it with all the biases that accompanied it. For example, the speaker pointed out ton the ill benefits of smartphone displays to the chemistry of the brain. However, he would likely not have used it in the classroom to enhance the engagement of the students due to its ill effects.

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Furthermore, much research has been done on this issue. Also, many countries and educators agree that technology does help with the teaching and learning of the students.

Conclusion

I suppose my point of this is that it can be rather dangerous to make claims that the speaker does. I think we should never discount the advantages of technology in education, even if it could ‘harm’ the students.

My last qualm on all this is that the speaker did not take into account other perspectives. Also, he exerted some rather bold claims. That being said, I will be sending him some studies that were not paid by large corporations. Hopefully, it will change his mind.

The Abolishment Of Exams In Malaysia’s Lower Primary Schools

A friend once asked if exams would be abolished. To be honest, I’m rather torn on this issue. On one hand, I am happy to have my children grow up in an environment where they will not be pressured to learn. On the other hand, I wonder if my child’s future will be left to teachers instead of a centralized entity. I know its a bit confusing, so let me explain.

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Why Exams Are Great?

There is actually only one reason for this. That is how the entire system is structured. Unlike many other countries, obtaining scholarships, education aid and even sending my child off to boarding school relies solely on exams.

If my child were to perform really well in exams, I can be sure that the government or other entities will help in paying off some part of my education expenses. This is especially important for families of the lower socioeconomic group. As such, exams evolve from just a norm at school to something that could potentially help families break the poverty cycle.

My country is not exactly giving up on exams altogether. This is because taking away exams for the first three years of schooling may do more good than harm. Yes, countries like Japan spend the first 3 years developing a child’s character. However, there is no data as to how the child would fare if they are not exposed to exams early on in life.

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Thus, when faced with exams, it may come as a shock to them and the teacher may need to spend more time helping the child get used to the system. This is why it may be better to start exposing the child to exams at a younger age. In sum, exams are good because it prepares the child for the real world and because it could be used as a ticket to help children break the poverty cycle.

However…

It should be noted that the problem with exams is not with exams per se. I feel that it is with the implementation of exams that is the issue.

I feel that over time, exams has transformed from a way to assess someone’s understanding to a game. Specifically, a game like Destiny / RPG game. The game starts off with you going around on different quests, collecting these magical items called ‘good grades’. The problem with all these quests is that they are all similar, you fight the same monsters and use the same techniques to accomplish the quests.

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In case, you didn’t get what I meant by the term ‘using the same techniques’, I was referring to memorization and regurgitation. As such, I feel that it would be best if exams are conducted in a more dynamic manner. This can be done with less paper and pen but more projects. Furthermore, I think that students should be allowed to explore the world instead of being confined to the classroom. This I feel would better prepare them for the real world.

 Conclusion

All in all, I’m more excited to see how the government will abolish exams. I think that even if exams are abolished, there is the issue with culture. I remember once hearing a parent lament when it was rumored that exams would be abolished. They wonder how will they know if their child is doing well in schools.

As such, while I support the abolishment of exams, I think we have to first change the perception of the entire culture. If this can be done, we can see learning change. Hopefully, learning will be directed from mere memorization for good grades, to just learning for one’s improvement.

Off Bubbles & Giving Clear Instructions

I have been so used to teaching older students that I occasionally forget how adorable younger students can be. Adorable in his case means just plain cute and exasperating. In this post today, the focus is not merely about the cuteness of certain children. I’ll also be focusing on how each instruction given by a teacher must be clear.

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The Story

So here’s what happened. I just had a new student enter my swimming class. She was no older than 4 years old and was the cutest little thing. She entered the water a little scared but I assured her that I will be holding her. I assured that I will not let her drown no matter what.

She agreed and we started the lesson. Conventionally, I will always teach a child how to exchange air before I start teaching any technique. As such, I told the child to start blowing bubbles in the water. The child looked at me with glee and shouted, ‘I know how to blow bubbles!’.

I was happy, at the very least I could skip forward quickly with the lesson. I was glad that I could avoid the pain of teaching a child how to exchange air, which can be rather difficult for young children. As such, I asked her to demonstrate her bubble blowing to me.

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She happily stared at me and started forming bubbles on her mouth with her saliva. I tried so very hard not to laugh. However, in hindsight, it was my fault for not being explicit with her.

The parents and I all had a great laugh after that. However, that helped me reflect on the need of my teaching methods.

Lessons On Teaching

I think one of the biggest issues with teaching different levels is the need to adapt instruction to fit their level of comprehension. Since I was used to teaching older children and adults, I did not have to be especially explicit to them.

However, younger children are a bit different, what we perceive as truth is not necessarily the child’s truth as well. I remember an exam question from a civics paper. The question asked what a child should do after finishing up his/her meal. The correct answer to that question was to clean up after themselves.

Unfortunately, most children in the class got that question wrong because many of them did not have to clean up after themselves. You see, a lot of the children in that school have maids and helpers at home. As such, their perceived truth was wildly different from what was considered as truth by the teacher.

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From this particular experience, I have started to learn how to adapt my instructions to fit the age group. It does take time, however, it has indeed been a good learning experience.

I just hope that I am prepared enough that the next time I meet another 4 years old, I don’t get surprised by something else they do. Then again, if they were to do something epic, it will make for another great story here on Steemit.

Links to My Ebook & Site

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HKQYGK9

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/896959

https://play.google.com/store/books/details?id=HrJwDwAAQBAJ

https://althed.com/

 

Are Extra Tuition Classes Necessary?

Tuition classes are extremely common in Asian countries. In fact, it almost seems mandatory for most children. I remember going through at least four hours of extra classes every day after school. However, some have started to question the need for tuition classes.

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One reason why some have questioned the need for extra tuition classes is that of the unnecessary stress that it has brought to many of the students. Articles such as this and this are prime examples of how tuition may not be as beneficial as many would believe.

The Problem With Tuition

Extra tuition classes create more stress because of how they are executed. Students can get overwhelmed with additional homework in such classes. This additional homework are given on top of the ones given to them at school.

Furthermore, a lot of the tasks focuses on repetition and memorization. All this is with the focus of preparing the child to face the exams. Most of these classes are also packed full of students, making it no different from any classes at school.

The classes are also held after school. This makes it near impossible for the child to have a life aside from studying. Imagine a child leaving for school early in the morning, and coming home late in the evening with only enough time to complete their homework.

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Doing so deprives the children of developing other skills crucial to their wellbeing. The first skill to go is play. As much as how many see play as unimportant, it helps the child build social skills and destress from a day at school. The next aspect that a child would have to sacrifice is sports.

Aside from a healthy life, sports help the child acquire new skills that could open up opportunities to them in the future. There are many scholarships that take into account the child’s sports. The child will also get to experience life outside of the classroom.

I remember the days I got to skip extra class to attend sports tournaments. It did not make my grades any worse but I learned how to be independent and how light bulbs burn your clothes. That will be a story for another time.

However…

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Tuition does have its advantages if it is done right. For example, if the teacher were to deal with each child’s individual learning problems, this makes tuition beneficial to the child’s learning. This ensures that tuition becomes an avenue where they can ask the teachers questions.

In addition, tuition classes should be done with as little teacher intervention as possible. For example, tuition classes can be a time when teachers assign individualized tasks. Tasks that are catered to help a child overcome their own weaknesses academically. For example, a child may be weak in sentence construction. Thus, tasks that are related to sentence construction can be assigned to help the child learn.

Conclusion

Tuitions may have its flaws, but really it is in its execution. I would definitely recommend a tuition class that is short and that caters to the child’s learning needs. As for those long, repetitive classes, I think a child is better off without them. How about you? What are your thoughts on the issue of extra tuition classes?

How To Find A Great Primary School In Malaysia

This post is contextualized to the Malaysian context, however, the points here are applicable to other countries. I draw many of the points in this post from my work. As a teacher trainer, I visit many schools and had the privilege to interview teachers and parents. This post will explore some of the characteristics synthesized from those visits and interviews at school.

Student To Teacher Ratio

The student to teacher ratio of a class refers to how many students should be assigned to a teacher at a school. The highest student to teacher ratio in a Malaysian primary school that I have seen is 70:1. In other words, I have seen one teacher to seventy students in a class. That is not conducive to the teaching and learning process.

However, too little in a class is not good for learning, especially in activities such as group discussions. Thus, it is important to find a primary school class in Malaysia with just the right amount of students. That amount ranges from 10 to 32.

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I have seen many teachers overwhelmed by large classes. In Malaysia, there are many classes in primary schools with about 50 students. This can be difficult for the teacher to know the child’s progress well. Thus, having an optimum amount of students ranging from 10-32 ensures that the teacher is able to give equal attention to all of the students.

The Curriculum

In Malaysia, we have a myriad of primary schools to choose from. You could send a child to a National, Vernacular or even a private school. Teachers aside, you need to be aware of what your child will be studying.

In the case of a Chinese primary school in Malaysia, your child will be asked to learn Mathematics and Science in Mandarin. While this is not an issue, they will be learning Mathematics and Science in English in Secondary school. I am a product of such a system and I was able to adapt. As such it is not all bad.

If learning Mathematics and Science in English is a priority for you, do consider a National school with a dual language program. Some schools do offer this and so it is important to check if there are enough teachers to teach Mathematics and Science in English.

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Private schools are a great option too, assuming you have the finances to do so. In addition, you will be preparing the child to further their studies overseas. While it is still possible to study in a Malaysian private college, many students from local government schools can still adapt to private colleges. As such, it is my opinion that it is not money well spent.

Another aspect that you should consider is what extracurricular activities does the school offer for free. At one point, Robotics classes were all the hype, now its coding. In terms of sports, a school with a qualified coach in a particular sport would be beneficial to your child. Thus, do consider what the school offers before deciding.

Conclusion

Whichever the primary school you have decided to send your child to, I hope the points above will help you make the best decision to suit you. I hope you have found this post useful. I’ll be tackling the topic of secondary school next. Do let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Technology Can’t Teach This One Thing…

Technology has been used in teaching and learning. It has been used in many things from helping someone with comprehension. It has also been used to help teachers monitor the students’ progress. However, there is one thing that it is not able to do.

Technology will not be able to help a child to be intrinsically motivated. What that means is that technology can help a child learn but it has yet to help a child want to learn.

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An Example

As an advisor to some teachers, I have encouraged the use of technology in the classroom. Many have found it to be incredibly useful in getting students interested. However, that enthusiasm quickly wears off. I mean, there are only so many videos on Youtube and so many games to encourage essay writing before they get bored.

This has been an issue faced by many teachers. Technology has been seen as the holy grail in education. Some see it as a way to revolutionize the entire teaching and learning process. It has and can be as well. However, it has its limitations.

So What is Technology Good For?

In general, technology is great for helping with three aspects. The first is administrative duties. Learning management systems make it so that all tasks and items are filed and arranged well. Gone are the days where teachers will be required to keep folders after folders of work.

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Second is the use of technology as a tool for gamification. Boring pen and paper tests can be made fun with apps such as Kahoot. Imagine making a game out of an exam, giving you extra marks for answering the questions correctly and quickly.

The third use case is to help make communication easier. It helps parents, teachers, and students communicate. I remember a time when parents had to make an appointment to see a teacher. Now, most just communicate over Whatsapp or Telegram.

Intrinsically Motivating The Students

As beneficial as technology is to the teaching and learning process, it is not sustainable if a teacher is unable to motivate a child intrinsically. In other words, the first goal should be to get the students excited to learn, even without the use of technology. This would eventually lead to students willing to take the initiative to learn.

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There are many ways to achieve this. However, one method that I like using for older children is to help them make sense of what they are working towards. Normally, this process involves goal-setting and seeing the consequences to their actions. In addition, the process also involves guiding the children about their bad habits. It is a long process and it takes time but it is one where technology is not as important as having a patient and a good teacher.

Conclusion

As time passes, we may get an AI with the full capabilities of a teacher. However, I think we are still far from that, I believe. It is important to note that despite the advancement of technology, nothing beats sitting down with the students and guiding them personally.