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Friday, February 5, 2010

Be fair when rewarding schools

LEE Keng Hoon raised a pertinent point regarding the importance of a level playing field when rewarding high-performing schools in his letter “Be fair to all schools’ (The Star, Feb 3).

It is true that elite and premier schools generally take in only high achievers so it is nothing to shout about when these schools do well year in and year out.

Given a group of excellent students, even mediocre teachers and principals can perform wonders.

It would be more impressive if schools can turn around a group of low achievers, which is where the real challenge is.

Considering the odds stacked against them, achieving success with such students is truly commendable.

This is the yardstick for measuring quality teaching and for testing the mettle of heads of schools.

If the Education Ministry has deemed it necessary to categorise schools as residential, urban, rural etc, then it is equally necessary to give out awards and rewards based on these groupings.

It is most unfair to pit, for instance, a residential school against a rural school. Reward if you may, but do so in a fair, equitable and justifiable manner.

SANDRA RAJOO,

Ipoh.

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