KUCHING: Graduates who majored in Education from private higher learning institutes (IPTS) here called on the Education Ministry to provide them with equal job opportunities in the teaching sector.
To date, many who obtained Education degrees from IPTS have failed to secure jobs as teachers in government schools and therefore resorted to finding jobs in other fields.
Some still remain jobless while others opted to study again in different fields.
In a press release sent to the media yesterday, a group of such graduates highlighted their predicament while discussing their fate.
The group claimed that many of their peers who applied to teach in government schools had their applications rejected as the State Education Department (JPN) and most schools do not accept such graduates.
“Not even offers for Untrained Temporary Teachers (GSTT) teaching post. Although there are small cases of schools that would hire us, unfortunately we have to settle for a much lower Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) or diploma salary scale.
“This is due to the excuse that JPN does not allow IPTS Education major graduates to apply for GSTT posts,” stated a graduate Nicholas Rekan in the press statement.
Another graduate Florie Mangku claimed that the problem has long persisted and that many past graduates did not dare to voice out their problem due to their ignorance of ways to find a solution.
It was also mentioned that last June 24, an email correspondence with the Education Ministry revealed that to apply to teach at government schools, IPTS Education graduates needed to apply manually by sending official letters to the ministry’s Human Resource Management.
However, it was a letdown as on Oct 20 the ministry sent a letter (to those who applied) stating that application was only limited to Teachers Training Institute and IPTA graduates.
Those who applied were left disappointed as they claimed that the Education Ministry did not state such matter in its website.
“We’ve written many complaint letters and suggestions but to no avail. According to the papers, the state allocated 24,387 teaching posts under JPN for primary schools. A total of 24,169 have been filled by qualified trained teachers whereas the rest to be filled by GSTT.
“For secondary schools, the state was allocated 14,255 teaching positions. A total of 13,563 have been filled by trained teachers while the remaining open for GSTT,” explained Dyna Asyikin.
Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong has announced that GSTT who have served for three years would automatically be absorbed to fill teachers shortage in the country.
GSTT who had their service terminated would be recalled to fill in the void.
“With about 13,000 GSTT serving in the education sector currently, how far would the government go before they realise the existence of IPTS Education graduates (future teachers).
“GSTT with three years of experience would be taken while the IPTS graduates with three to four years of training, with some having one to three years of teaching experience, would be left out,” highlighted Lina Dampak.
Alice Ason, among those voicing her opinion, stated that with three new secondary schools operating in the state – SMK Kemena (Bintulu), SMK Tebedu (Serian) and SMK Tinjar (Baram) this year, it was understood that each school would need GSTTs to fill in the gap.
In Bintulu alone, she mentioned that there were more than 20 GSTTs in service.