Dwindling number of Malaysian male teachers in school comes as no surprise.

Recently, a young teacher friend of mine, mentioned her brother's wish to be a teacher. Having seen his sister's wonderful involvement with her students, it dawned on him that teaching would be a good career. Yet, the advice given by my friend to her sibling was nonetheless a reality that has to faced:

"I don't think you should be a teacher. Male teachers in schools are harassed into doing odd and heavy jobs. You would be like the 'kuli' (slave) of the school."

As much as I don't believe in discouraging people from becoming a teacher, this point is being a problem faced by many male teachers. One male teacher (an engineer before he decided to teach primary students) does the gardening, hammering of materials on the walls, climbing of stairs to fix wires, lifts up tables and chairs from one place to another, moves tents, statues, stones, sand and every single thing under the sun. All this, without a single please or thank you from anyone and is often being ordered around (Yes, yes, this is there the cliche comes in: teachers don't expect much from their hard work). But, its only to a certain limit that their patience is tested.

It's a belief in school that if you are a male teacher you can do all the 'heavy stuff' and the females are not cable of doing so. It goes a bit too far when a female teacher goes all out to find a male teacher just to ask him to hammer a nail into a wall. Was it in the job description that male teachers are required to do all these? It's no surprise that all male teachers might soon be extinct.

October 2, 2009

Read additional articles about Malaysian men teachers.