Sometimes I hate to read the newspaper. Sensational issues are given priority in the tabloid newspaper. I just arrived home from work. I saw one of the famous tabloid newspaper on the table in my house. The front page news stated "school girl was raped by her teacher in the day light". I stopped and read through. However I stopped half way because I hate to read that kind of story. I am a paediatrician and I have seen worse than that. I was emotionally affected by the news on how the young school girl was raped by the most trusted person - her teacher. I just could not imagined how devastated the parents of this girl. The daughter that they love and care very much was sexually abused by a man whom they taught the most harmless and responsible person. Parents always look high on teaching profession because teachers make us what we are today. As a teacher, he should showed a good example to the students and taught them to be a better and successful person. The girl's future was ruined. Some of the cases of sexually abused child that I managed in my hospital, had to go for a serial of counseling sessions with the child psychiatrist. Some of them ended up in the sex business when they grow up. Public will look down on them. I always reminded my children to be careful and not to trust anyone else including their teachers or lecturers. I always reminded them not to see the lecturer alone. always bring friends along especially when the meeting is in the lecturer's room. I just wanted them to be more careful.
Teachers 30 years ago were so much different from current era. Many junior teachers nowadays are not as dedicated as my teachers many years ago. I respected my teachers even until now. I will never forget all my teachers who have a very significant role in my carrier and in my life after my family. I could not repay them back for all the knowledge and the passion that they have for me in making me a successful doctor. My primary school teachers, my secondary school teachers and all the professors in the medical faculty of UKM. They were so committed with their work and their profession. They sincerely guided my friends and I and ever willing to give an extra classes after office hour just to ensure that we pass our exam. Most of my teachers were very fierce but they were good teachers. Now, they are my friends and colleagues. I used to hear my children made terrible comments on their teachers. I am not saying that all teachers nowadays are not good. There are many of them are excellent teachers and committed to their work. However, there are significant numbers of them are incompetent and have poor attitude as well as poor knowledge. They became teachers or lectures not because they love the job but they have no choice for whatever reasons there may be. They don't teach the students sincerely. They prefer to be the receiver rather than the giver. Want more but give less. I didn't make this thing up but I got this feed back from my sister in-law who is a teacher herself and the headmaster in one of the school in Negeri Sembilan. She told me her frustration on the quality of teachers now. There are many problems related to the attitude of junior teachers. Not all of them but significant numbers. The junior teachers gave her more problems than the senior ones. Every now and then, their works need to be checked. They need to be encouraged and reminded all the time to be more proactive and committed in their work. This phenomena is not only apparent in schools but in all learning institutions. Medical schools are not excluded. It is a global issue. Students never respect their teachers anymore. I guess all these started from home. The way we bring up our children. Bad teachers produce bad students. Good teachers produce good students. Let us look at the houseman training now. Previously, the houseman training was only one year duration but now it is increased to 2 years training period. Why? This is due to the poor knowledge and skill among the medical students produced by the universities lately. On top of that, some of them have bad attitude. Be it local or overseas. One year term is not enough to make them a safe doctor and can stand alone managing patients in the peripheral clinic. Not only that, KKM has to come out with special programme to train them. The HO training give all the specialists and consultants a nightmare or even a night terror. The senior doctors have to do more teaching and guidance. We have to spoon feed them all the time. They took a longer duration of time to learn. Despite having 2 years HO training period, significant numbers of them got extended in some of the postings especially paediatric posting. Most of these housemen were good students to start with but obviously being a good student will not guarantee that they will become a good doctor. Sometimes we have to teach them from the basic. Their medical knowledge and skill can be considered as zero in some of them especially those who are graduated from some universities like Cairo, Indonesia and Russia. Being a senior doctor that have been in the service for more than 24 years, I can see the deterioration in the quality of the new generation of doctors in our country. I am very worry that if there is no measure taken by the higher authority to look into these problems before it is too late. I have a feeling that sooner or later, the HO training will be extended to 3 or 4 years because 2 years will be insufficient to train them. Otherwise, these future doctors will harm the patients instead of making them well and healthy.
When we talked about teacher, I classified them into 2 categories. The "formal teachers" are true teachers that teach in school, colleges and higher learning institutions where as the informal teachers consists of parents, friends and others who are also important in the making of great students. I guess all teachers should have positive attitude to improve their knowledge and skill in teaching from time to time. They have to be more proactive and should not take teaching profession likely. Our children is the future of our nation and all of us carry a great responsibility to turn them into the most valuable individual. Most of all, teachers shouldn't take advantage on their students. Instead, they should be their protector. Love them the way you love your own.