First, a little background info for my friends not in the service.
In December 2007, we attended a briefing where we were asked to nominate teachers for DG44, DG48 and DG52 posts as Form Six teachers in school. As my school had four Form Six classes, we had one DG52 post, three DG48 and five DG44 form six academic teachers posts. These teachers were not going to do any admin. We also had one DG44 Form Six Senior Assistant post and one DG44 Form Six Cocurriculum Coordinator. This was a great thing for teachers in school...at last they had another avenue for promotions, other than going into administration (as a principal, senior assistant or dept heads) or becoming GCs (master teachers). Of course they had to teach Form Six students, which isn't exactly a walk in the park. However, the people in the briefing room weren't exactly happy. And I knew why.
Blow Number One was that the senior assistants in school (myself included) were to remain in the DG44 grade. I could foresee problems in overseeing a school with many people in higher job grades than myself. Some officers said it was not a problem as I had the 'jawatan' (pronounced in a stentorian tone). Well, my response to that is YEAH RIGHT (best said in a sarcastic manner).
Blow Number Two was that although I was in DG44, I couldn't apply for the post as I had not yet sat for my PTK3 DG44 exam. Well, I'd say 'Luck of the Irish..' but I'm not Irish! Haha... Anyway, Lilian Too had already predicted that 2008 was not to be a good year for me...so I suppose the drought was starting early.
My principal and I rushed back to school as we were given only three days to prepare our nominations. We did it but up till today, I'm still feeling the repercussions. We couldn't nominate ALL the Form Six teachers as some of them didn't fulfil all the criteria (they were too young or had not passed their PTK). And some teachers felt that we should have nominated the senior teachers who were due for promotion. But I kept explaining the criteria to them over and over again. I even photocopied the briefing notes (handouts) for them so they could see that one of the documents required was the 2007 teacher's timetable. So if the senior teacher was not a Form Six teacher, he or she could not be nominated. But it took till March before EVERYONE finally were satisfied and settled down. Well, at least as far as I know. At least I no longer had people coming to my room to ask sadly or despondently or disconsolately why why why the teachers in the list were chosen. They weren't senior, they weren't long-serving teachers of the school, they weren't excellent (with reference to the APC)...etc etc.
One would think that we didn't make things clear during the announcement in the first staff meeting. But we laid things out as given to us during the December briefing. The nominated teachers MUST be Form Six teachers. And they were nominated even if they had only served three years as a DG41 teacher. Perhaps some teachers heard the term 'DG44' and immediately lost track of the rest of the briefing. Some of the teachers in my school have worked for almost 20 years and they were still in DG41. This was perhaps their last perceived chance...
When I attended meetings with my other senior assistant comrades, I found out that the same (or almost the same) thing was happening in their own schools. And when I go online, I surf forums and blogs afire with the same issues. What can anyone say? I suppose the implementation of the promotional exercise could have been carried out better...but as they say, walk a mile in the person's shoes first before you judge him.
In October, a second Form Six promotional exercise was announced. This time, it was open to DG41 officers with at least five years in the job grade and with options available in the Form Six list of subjects. I waffled for a few weeks before I too filled in the form. A senior colleague's advice was to grab the opportunity for the DG48 job grade. Such opportunities didn't exactly litter the ground. When I dropped by the Education Office and met one of the officers in charge of the promotion exercise, he also asked me to make sure none of the teachers in my school falsified documents or details. I was thinking that anyone who did that had to be suicidal (career-wise) or not using his or her brain. But for the officer to say that to me, I suspect that perhaps he had come across suicidal or brainless people.
So what's in store for me in 2009? I'm not sure but I hope for better things.
Well, Lilian Too said 2009 was going to be a good year for me ;)