Sunday, October 20

STU calls for better mechanism to reward teachers

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SIBU: Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) calls on the Ministry of Education to devise a grade progression mechanism to better reflect teachers’ seniority and contribution.

THANK YOU: Ngieng (third right) gives a token of appreciation to a teacher Jitai Ajong of SK Ulu Ranan, Kanowit while (from left) Huo, Ghani and Tan look on.

Its president William Ghani Bina said yesterday, the approach would counter teachers’ dissatisfaction in not getting promotions, by raising their grade.

He also called for more opportunities be given to teachers to further their studies, allowing them to specialise when they returned.

“It is not easy to get promoted but to safeguard teachers’ motivation, the ministry perhaps can come up with some kind of grade where qualified teachers can progress and not remain stagnant as they are.

“When teachers are motivated, they can better impart their knowledge to students,” Ghani told reporters at STU’s 46th AGM cum Teachers’ Day celebration at Paramount Hotel here.

He noted there were those who had remained in their grade for an awfully long time, and this could cause their motivation to dwindle.

Ghani suggested that principals be at least given DG52 while headmasters, DG34 scale.

He observed there were principals with DG32 grade in smaller schools but shouldered higher responsibilities compared to teachers with the same grade.

“Although they get RM100 more, these principals are burdened with a whole host of responsibilities.”

Ghani hoped that the 1Malaysia concept would be put into practice in education.

Making suggestions, he felt if the director-general of the ministry is from one race, the post for the deputy ought to be given to another race.

He added that the practice should be cascaded all the way down to the state and school levels.

“If a school sits in a predominantly Chinese area, then headmasters can be Chinese while its assistance post be given to another race,” he said, noting that people would perceive this as “everyone being given an opportunity to succeed.”

Asked on MCA Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong’s statement that some of the 363 full A+ students who deserved their overseas scholarships but did not get them, Ghani responded: “We are not happy because some JPA officers made wrong rulings and this is most unfair.”

He stressed in the spirit of 1Malaysia, the scholarships need to be given out based on qualifications, irrespective of who they are.

He voiced concern that if too many of one race were neglected, people might wrongly perceive this as a racial issue later on.

“And we certainly do not want that as it is not healthy at all.”

STU, he said, was into landed property investment such as buildings, given its appreciation in value.

“This is a more viable option than to put the money in bank as the value of buildings appreciates with time,” he said, adding that the union has two buildings in Kuching.

He disclosed that they had acquired a shophouse here at a cost of RM1.4 million.

Meanwhile, appreciation was accorded to a total of 69 comprising pensioners and teachers who would be retiring this year.

Seventy children of the Sibu branch members received incentives for their excellent academic achievements in UPSR, PMR and STPM examinations.

Among those present were Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) deputy chairman Daniel Ngieng, union secretary-general Thomas Huo Kok Sen, Sibu branch chairman Tan Kuang Wui.