Wreaking havoc in classroom

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 12 November, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 12 November, 1998, 12:00am

There have been many recent articles and letters about the problems surrounding the Native-speaking English Teachers (NET) scheme in Hong Kong's secondary schools.

Working as a NET in a practical school I have been unfortunate to have had such a negative experience with students at the lowest end of the academic spectrum.

It has proved impossible to teach a foreign language under conditions where students have absolutely no motivation to be in school at all, let alone grapple with oral or written English. Many of these students spend the majority of their days either sleeping or wreaking havoc in the classroom. Their level of English is appallingly low.

Very basic activities gathered from low primary-level textbooks have proved to be too difficult for the majority of the students in the school. Having been cursed in both languages and having witnessed fist-fights, little surprises me anymore. One has to question the Government's wisdom in employing native English teachers to teach in schools where little benefit, if any, will arise.

There's nothing 'practical' about paying millions of taxpayers' money into schools which will derive nothing but problems and further complications to an already overburdened workload. I agree that the higher band schools may get some benefit out of the programme, but let's not waste money hiring professional teachers from overseas to teach in schools where they will only reap disappointment and the students nothing but confusion.