Friday, June 7


"Where's Ziana? Sick?" I asked my colleague when I was asked to relief her class.
The new part-time English Language teacher or commonly called GSTT [guru sandaran tidak terlatih] had been absent for two days. It was bad enough having to teach for 5 periods and then being asked to relieve another teacher's class. I was dead tired.
"She's quit!" came the short answer.
"Quit? Why? Didn't she continue her contract just 3 days ago?" I was surprised.
Nowadays, the GSTT teachers are required to be under a 2-month contract.If they perform well, then they are allowed to continue teaching in the same school. As most of the new-graduates from the local universities are jobless or "waiting to be posted to schools", one of the options they have is to apply for a temporary teaching post in schools which are in short of teachers.

It has been a common thing to see these GSTT teachers in the schools I work in. If  we are lucky, we'd get the hardworking and conscientious workers. Otherwise, it's a struggle for us and the newly hired ones who think that they are still in their honeymoon year in universities. Tell them to move and they'd move a step; if we don't approach them, they'd remain in their comfort zone and wait for further instruction. Heck, the senior teachers are always busy and from the first day they step foot in school, we have told them to always approach us if they are in doubt or need guidance. We have no time for chit-chat or slow talk when we ae in school, so if they need something, they should come and see us.

"Why did she quit?"
She was not the only GSTT teacher who quit in the beginning of May. The new group of English Language graduate teachers have decided to stop their stint and to "rest at home while waiting for posting". I want to say that I almost rolled on the floor laughing when I heard this lame excuse. They call themselves TESL graduates and they have trained in the teaching institution and local universities for 3 years to prepare themselves for a career in teaching. And they quit as a GSTT teacher just because they find the school environment ' too difficult for them'?
Hah.. with the excess of graduates from the teaching colleges and universities, it'd be a long time before they get a posting to schools. Some states like Kedah, Kelantan and Trengganu have enough trained teachers that they have postponed any transfers of teachers to those states.

Frankly speaking, I find the current group of new graduates who happen to be teaching part-time in schools to be lacking in positive attitude towards their duties. Of course, there are a few exceptionally good ones like Suffi, whom we have trained so well during his one-year service with us that he's now happily teaching in an elite school. However, there are many who need to buck up if they were to be respected teachers in future. There should be no gossiping and online Facebook in the staffroom where they should be marking books and preparing the day's lessons. They ought to be smart and avoid being caught in office politics. Most importantly, they must learn to manage the naughty students during lessons, because they can't expect to be given only the good classes in school. They have to be able to cope with paperwork and other minor duties given by the senior teachers, who have more work and responsibilities to manage. In addtion, they ought to be friendly with all the teachers and staff and not be selective as to whom they want to talk to. Most importantly too, they must learn to ignore any gossips and not be sensitive to other teachers' personal remarks.

One would have taught that the universities and colleges have trained the graduates these soft skills but experience tells me that they have a lot more to learn before they are ready to be good teachers. If these graduates who have teaching diplomas and should be better GSTT teachers compared to their colleagues from other fields who have opted to be called GSTT teachers feel that they cannot cope with the work pressure and other personal problems faced in the school they are currently teaching, then please do not take up the posting offer by the ministry of education. Such teachers will only create more problems in their new schools with their negative attitude, not to say give a bad impression about English language teachers to parents and students.

I have worked with other GSTT teachers who are not trained as English teachers but due to their ability to speak well, they are offered to teach this subject in my school. I'm happy to note that they are able to teach well and their work attitude is sometimes better than some new TESL graduates. Don't know why this is so, but it's a sad fact that some young teachers think that they are above reproach just because they 'speaking Mat Salleh' and dislike being nagged at and given a tongue-lashing by the other senior teachers for their lackadaisical attitude toward their duties [something English teachers seem to be famous for, by being direct to the point]

By the way, I'm still waiting to see who will be taking over Ziana's duties in school, now that she has quit her job[hopefully the pejabat pelajaran daerah will stop posting her as a GSTT to another school].
As another senior teacher lamented," We have trained them from the beginning of the year, with all these PBS stuff and set system.. and when they quit suddenly, we have to start all over again. Why can't they send us a permanent trained English language teacher?'
Yeah, right!

p/s: When the school breaks ends, I returned to my school to find that another GSTT who reported for duty in May and was assigned to teach English has also quit. So we've 2 new untrained English Language teachers who we have to supervise and be mentors to, hopefully they'd last till the end of the 2nd term.


  1. Salam kenal dari Che Mid. Suka terjumpa blog ni.. terus folo..

    1. Waalaikumussalam warahmatullah,
      Che Mid, selamat berkenalan, ya :)

  2. salam, kak. boleh sy re-post dekat fb? :) btw, ramai lagi pelatih guru yang menunggu posting. kenapa jpn hantar guru GSTT yang semestinya xtahu selok belok dunia sebenar keguruan. setuju sangat dengan pendapat akak.

    1. Waalaikumussalam warahmatullah SIS,
      Dibenarkan. Ya, memang ramai guru-guru lepasan diploma dan ijazah yang sedang menunggu posting. Hal ini bertambah rumit dengan kenaikan umur persaraan guru dai 58 ke 60 bar-baru ini; bermakna masalah lebihan graduan guru hanya boleh dikurangkan selepas 2015.
      Sebenarnya, kehadiran guru GSTT yang berdisiplin,rajin, berwatakan guru dan mengikut perkembangan semasa akan sentiasa dialu-alukan di sekolah, walaupun mereka tiada berpengalaman. Cuma ada segelintir mereka yang kurang berkaliber dan membawa masalah kepada pihak sekolah dan guru-guru lain apabila mereka anggap kerjaya GSTT sebagai 'percubaan'.

  3. saya GSTT yg sedang menunggu posting. berkhidmat dari awal tahun dan sudah tiga kali renew kontrak. alhamdulillah, entri ini satu teguran yg bagus utk saya. terima kasih, cikgu.

    1. Tahniah sebab tetap berkhidmat sebagai GSTT. Teruskanlah mendidik dengan cemerlang dan semoga dipermudahkan mendapat posting.

  4. I suspect one chooses to be a GSTT on the premises that teaching is easy; term holidays, enjoyable co-currilcular activities and so on. These young adults may not have experienced within their families what hard life is. Additionally, the duty imposed on a teacher as you put it in your 'Paparework and online works' is something not right in the first iinstance. I think we can add more to these two adverse factors.

    I have had a number of children from Almanar who turn out to be teachers, nurses etc and have not heard one saying life as a teacher is unbearable. Most of them are from middle-to-lower class families. A job, hence money means everything to start with. The girl of my current posting 'I want to be a teacher' does not want any other job; has been at it for four years, and has even chosen a teacher to be her life partner.

    Do we not see young undergraduates driving own cars to college? Many have taken courses which are not of their choice, making job opportinities limited.Some take courses in agriculture and never wish to soil their hands after graduation.

    Unless additional teachers are given to schools the problem is likely to stay for a while, I am afraid.

    1. Al-Manar,
      I agree with you. Most of the GSTT [ I repeat most, not all because I've met some who are better teachers than the permanent trained ones]seem to think that teaching is a 7am-2pm job, and when they are actually in schools, they'd realise that it's actually a full time job. Even as the trainee teachers, they'd have it easy because they'd be given only the good classes and with a limited number of periods to teach, with none of the normal non-teaching duties to handle.

  5. When the school breaks ends, I returned to my school to find that another GSTT who reported for duty in May and was assigned to teach English has also quit. So we've 2 new untrained English Language teachers who we have to supervise and be mentors to, hopefully they'd last till the end of the 2nd term.