Friday, September 17

Entulu: Interviewers must be made up of representatives from major ethnic groups

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Joseph Entulu Belaun

SIBU: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Joseph Entulu Belaun suggested for the state government to ensure interviewers conducting the recruitment exercise for teachers are made up of representatives from the major ethnic groups.

He strongly feels that a good representation is vital to dispel the  public’s misperceptions about the interview process and credibility of the system of interview.

“In the context of Sarawak every interview must be represented by the major ethnic communities, namely Malay, Chinese, and Dayak. I think this will go a long way towards clearing public’s misperception about the interview process and credibility of our system of interview,” Entulu said.

In fact, he had made such a  suggestion to the federal Public Services Commission (PSC) and hoped the state could follow suit. As Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, he oversees the PSC, Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning (Mampu) and Education Service Commission (SPP).

The Selangau MP made the suggestion when asked about the report in The Borneo Post last Wednesday that 80 out of 236 interim teachers from Sarawak who were given a second chance to sit for the psychometric test conducted by SPP in March had failed.

Entulu, who was the guest-of-honour for the Excellent Service Award (APC) 2016 for Selangau District Education Office, was met after officiating at the event here on Friday. A total of 47 teachers received their certificates from him. He admitted that there were all kinds of accusations and opinions with regard to the matter.

“Nevertheless, we believe the interviewers are professionals and there must be some reasons why certain questions were asked. There were some public polemics about the appropriateness of some questions asked in the interview. I am sure there must be some logical reasons for that.”

Meanwhile, one of the interim teachers had said they were very disappointed with the results and at the same time curious as to how the test was marked, and proposed that the test papers be re-marked by an independent panel from Sarawak.

On this, Entulu said: “Well, if you consider my suggestion – that would not be necessary. The reason why they (interim teachers) want a re-marking (of test papers) is because of misperception and suspicions.”

Pointing out that he did not have the data offhand, he said from what he had gathered from the public, they felt that a substantial number of Dayaks had failed the test compared to some other groups.

“So, I strongly feel that there must be a good representation from major ethnic groups for interviewers not just for  the psychometric test but interviews in general,” Entulu reiterated.

He noted some interim teachers had misunderstood when they were offered the job which was a stopgap measure while the Education Ministry tried to fulfil the 90:10 policy, whereby 90 per cent of fully trained teachers in the state would be locals.

Many, especially those who graduated from non-government training institutions, questioned as to why they have to sit for psychometric test in order to serve permanently. He explained that graduates of teachers’ training colleges (IPG) underwent the psychometric test before they were admitted, and thus are not required to undergo the test again.

On the other hand, those trained by private institutions to become teachers never underwent the test, he added.

“So, when the government wants to absorb them into government schools they have to sit for the psychometric test – only difference is that in IPG, you do it earlier, while for private institutions you sit for it later.

“There was a misunderstanding at first but now we have cleared that already,” he said.

Newly appointed Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong would meet SPP chairman Tan Sri Dr Haili Bolhan about interim teachers from Sarawak who failed their psychometric test recently. Manyin recently said he had spoken to Haili to set up the meeting.