The perimeter and area of a square - Azerbaijani minister on teacher certification
Teachers’ knowledge versus certification
In an interview with one of the local TV channels, Emin Amrullaev, Azerbaijani Minister of Science and Education, said that almost 20% of primary school teachers could not answer an elementary question in mathematics during their certification – to calculate the area of a square with a known perimeter.
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Teacher salary according knowledge level
According to Amrullaev, certification is important not only for identifying the level of knowledge of teachers, but is also needed to differentiate salaries:
“For the first time in Azerbaijan, a system of differential wages for teachers based on their knowledge and skills has been introduced.
“98% of Azerbaijani teachers took part in the certification process. Not only because here we measured their level of knowledge, but also because, according to the results of this certification, they will receive one or another salary,” the minister said.
According to Amrullaev, prior to that teachers in the country received equal hourly wages. Now it all depends on their qualifications:
“From now on, remuneration for teachers is divided into three levels: those who received a high rating during certification will receive a 35% salary increase starting September of this year; those who received not the highest mark during certification will receive a 10% salary increase; and those who did not consider it necessary to pass certification will receive their previous wages. The latter group has a whole year to prepare for the certification process.”
“What did certification show? Most teachers meet the requirements of their profession. But there are also problems. For example among primary school teachers, about 2,000 out of 11,000 certified teachers found it difficult to answer an elementary question: to calculate the area of a square with a known perimeter. Is it possible to make concessions on this? Of course not. It is even worse than treason to the motherland, to cripple 6-year-old children unknowledgeable teachers,” added Amrullaev.
In an interview with JAMnews, education expert Kamran Asadov noted that one should first question those who prepared the exam.
“I assure you, few of the expert council that prepared these questions would have been able to go through this certification on their own. Why do I think so? Because the questions that were asked did not correspond to teachers’ specialization.
“I agree, calculating the area of a square is not the most difficult question. But why is he a primary school teacher? Mathematics in elementary grades is elementary, there is no need to know the area of a square. These educators could be asked about something more important in their work.
“And it is impossible to be limited only to revealing the level of knowledge in subjects. But what about pedagogy, methods of working with children? Who will think about this?,” Asadov.
To our question “And who is to blame for such a low level of knowledge among secondary school teachers?” Asadov replied:
“Here the fault lies entirely with pedagogical universities, which are subordinate to the Ministry of Science and Education, headed by the esteemed Amrullaev. When did you see the ministry asking universities about the level of their graduates? How do they get their degrees?
“And I will answer this question for you. Imagine that a teacher with a college degree is forced to take a course to prepare for a teacher recruitment exam. Why? Because no one is interested in what you were taught at the university, you need to know the high school course.
“Since a teacher needs to know the secondary school course, which is understandable, what is he being taught at the university for four whole years? That’s what you need to figure out, and then ask.”
According to Kamran Asadov, the idea of certification of teachers is in itself correct:
“This system exists all over the world. Everything is updated, textbooks change every five years, and accordingly teachers should know all these updates, and not teach children what their parents were taught twenty years ago. I think the process is normal, but it is necessary to take into account some details.”
Teachers’ knowledge versus certification