Performance-based pay is not the answer
While I endorse our education minister's motion to have non-performing teachers removed from our schools, I cannot agree with his suggestion to have teachers paid based on the performance of their students.
Certainly, a performance-based pay system would compel more teachers to invest quality time in planning eclectic instructions that meet the varied needs and capacities of their students. However, we must be mindful of the plethora of external factors that may cause well-planned lessons to have very little impact on our students' academic growth.
Some of the most daunting external factors that may hamper students' performance include the lack of parental support in many homes, the irregular school attendance of many of our students, the dearth of educational resources in some of our schools and the intractable learning disabilities besetting some of our students. Most of these issues undoubtedly land outside the control of our teachers, so just how fair would a performance-based regime be?
How are we even going to ensure that the assessment instruments used can effectively measure and authentically reflect the academic achievements of our students? Furthermore, how will we truly innoculate a performance-based pay system against liable corruption?
It would be unrealistic to believe that test instruments and test administrations may not be skewed to ensure that high grades are presented for the allocation of regular salaries.
I am therefore suggesting that we focus on equipping our schools with sufficient educational resources, train and mentor our teachers to improve their strategies and overcome their shortcomings, and by extension help our students to maximise their truest potentials for greater civic contributions.
Shawna Kay Williams
The Mico University College