NILAI: Developing and upskilling the average teacher to re-brand the entire teaching profession is no longer seen as an impossible mission.
In fact, outmoded views such as ‘great teachers are born not made’ or ‘excellent teaching is an innate skill’ have been contested and challenged by scholars and education reformers alike.
“Instead, the biggest gains in our education system will come from elevating the standards and upgrading the skills and competencies of teachers to create a high-quality workforce.
“Therefore, it is incumbent upon educators to continue refining their skills in accordance to what is outlined in the Malaysia Education Blueprint and the English Language Roadmap 2015 - 2025,” said Ministry of Education Curriculum Development Division deputy director Dr. Mohamed Abu Bakar here today.
He added that the roadmap, a product of the English Language Standards and Quality Council, and an extension of the blueprint, sets out to do precisely this.
“The collaboration between Cambridge English and the ministry has spurred significant process in aligning the current English Language education in the country to international standards using the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR).
Mohamed was speaking at the closing ceremony of the three-day Pro-ELT Symposium 2017, themed CEFR: Enhancing Teacher Quality to Impact Student Outcomes held at English Language Training Centre in Bandar Enstek.
The symposium comprised of conferences, plenary sessions, and workshops was aimed at English teachers to strengthen the quality of teaching and learning of English in the classrooms.
He said scores of studies have demonstrated that highly proficient teachers have a direct influence in impacting student outcomes.
“This symposium has reconciled research with practice through engagement with expert speakers and encouraging teachers to reflect upon their own practices.
“It is my hope that this symposium will act as a catalyst for enhancing and expanding the discourse on teacher proficiency and student outcomes.
“And also to accelerate our own professional development through collaboration, networking and establishing new frontiers where teacher proficiency is exalted and sustained,” said Mohamed.
Also present were ELTC deputy director Zainab Yusof and English Language Standards and Quality Council chairperson Professor Dr. Zuraidah Mohd Don.
Zainab said in support of the ELT initiatives that are stipulated in Wave Two (Accelerating System Improvement) of the blueprint, ELTC has been charged with the task of helping teachers improve their proficiency through programmes such as the Pro-ELT.
Currently, she said 20,760 or 52.75 percent of English language teachers have achieved Level C1 (Effective Operational Proficiency or advanced).
Level C1 is the fifth level of English in the CEFR, a definition of different language levels written by the Council of Europe.
For each level, the CEFR describes what a learner can do in reading, listening, speaking and writing.
“This results reflect their perseverance in the pursuit of excellence and meeting a set of international professional standards as outlined the blueprint,” she said.