Thursday, October 6, 2011

Poor Teaching Standards

I had a meeting yesterday that finished only at 07:00 PM and so, again, I knew I would be late for my AFC Toastmasters meeting. And to make matters worse, it was one of those days where traffic was really horrendous. Mercifully, I did finally arrive at my destination. I was the evaluator for the first assignment speaker - CC speech # 3 - and I will be the first to admit that I was impressed with Angie Geh for her superb delivery, splendid fluency and stunning vivacity. Overall, it was a good meeting and although attendance could be better, I still enjoyed it because another two accomplished elocutionists, Roger McGovern and Ahmad Zakie took to the stage and delighted us with their humorous speeches. An 8 out of a 10!

UK’s The Independent on Tuesday highlighted an interesting study that was commissioned by the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC) – this study of 1,000 third-year undergraduates revealed that a clear majority of them believe that their university course would be "poor value for money" if they were paying £9,000 a year. Another way of putting it is that they “felt let down by teaching standards at universities”. This perhaps serves as a warning to educators that as tuition fees escalate upward, universities must multiply their efforts to ensure quality teaching. The problem I see is that many traditional universities in particular focus far too much on academic research that they may have unwittingly sidelined teaching. As long as we have high school students enrolling in university courses, teaching will continue to be just as important. As I blog this, I too wonder if I am a good lecturer!

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