Not possible to achieve 90:10 ratio of local teachers next year — Manyin

Manyin addressing reporters after opening the NCTC 2017 at IPGKTAR.

KUCHING: The state government cannot simply push its way through to achieve the 90:10 ratio of local teachers in the state by next year due to lack of quality Sarawak-born teachers.

Hence, the service of teachers from Peninsular Malaysia may still be needed in the state until qualified local teachers are available to fill the vacancies, Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin revealed yesterday.

“We cannot just fulfil the 90:10 policy blindly even though it is what the state government aspires to do. We must take into consideration the quality of our teachers,” he told reporters after opening the National Conference on Thinking Culture (NCTC 2017) at the Teachers Education Institute, Tun Abdul Razak Campus (IPGKTAR) at Kota Samarahan here yesterday.

Themed ‘Empowering Higher Order Thinking Culture Through 21st Century Education’, the three-day conference was organised by Ipgktar’s Excellent Thinking Skills Centre in collaboration with Education Department, Malaysia Teacher Education Institute and Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research.

“I am not trying to support the intake of teachers from Peninsular Malaysia but there are teachers who are genuinely good,” he pointed out.

Manyin stressed that priority must be given to providing quality education to children, more so in the rural areas so that they will have good learning environment similar to what urban students have.

For this reason, he said the government would not compromise on quality of teachers.

“Do you want your children to be taught by teachers who are not qualified? For instance, Singapore, Japan and Australia really pay high attention to the teaching profession, in which they only take the top 30 per cent of the cohort (graduates) who can qualify to apply to be teachers, while South Korean takes only the top five per cent and Finland takes the top 10 per cent only,” he highlighted.

“We want to make sure that our children are being taught by quality teachers as well,” he added.

Meanwhile, on a report that some 70 interim teachers from Sarawak had their services terminated on Oct 31, Manyin explained that the termination was in accordance with their contract with the Ministry of Education.

“They can sit for a psychometric test again in November to apply for permanent teaching posts,” he advised.

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