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06 Sep 2021  (640 Views) 
Covid-19 crisis

Teachers faces mental stress
I read several news reports that many teachers are facing a mental stress from the new way of teaching students using the online platform.  Here is an article that explain this problem. 

I believe that this is a real challenge for the teachers and that they are not exaggerating the problem. It is quite difficult to conduct the teaching using the online platform.

There are so many additional tasks that need to be handled, for example, to help the students to cope with the online platform. 

The Ministry of Education said that they are aware of the problem. I wonder if they are really addressing the issue or just making a statement to buy time or to distract the issue.

Anyway, I like to offer a solution.

During the pandemic, many people have lost their jobs. I suggest that 30,000 new jobs be created as teaching assistants. Each assistant is assigned to one teacher.

Where can these additional assistants be found? The sources are:

a) Graduates who are not able to find jobs
b) Workers in the service industry who have lost their jobs due to the restrictions.

At present, many of them have to take up jobs as safe entry enforcers, contact tracers, social distancing ambassadors, etc. Most of these jobs are not really productive. The resources can be diverted to the jobs as teaching assistants. 

The job of a teaching assistant can be for four hours a day, rather than for 8 hours. The teacher can be the mentor to teach the assistants on their task. The salary can be at a modest rate, say $1,500 a month.

The assistants can carry out the following tasks:

a) Help the students with technical issues on getting online
b) Contact students to remind them on what needs to be done
c) Help the teachers on routine marking and administrative work.

I believe that this would be a good way to address the mental stress of the teachers, improve the teaching environment for the teachers and students, and also provide a useful job opportunity for many unemployed people (who otherwise have to work in ride hailing and food delivery).

Tan Kin Lian


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