MIRI: More than 1,000 teachers are needed to teach the Iban language in schools, to ensure the students are really catered to.
According to Institut Pendidikan Guru (IPG) Sarawak Campus director Bedui Une, there are currently only 280 Iban subject teachers in the state.
“The shortage of Iban subject teachers in the state is upsetting. If the problem of scarcity is not curbed immediately, it might cost the native language to be gradually less spoken and eventually disappear, particularly among the younger generation,” he said.
He raised the issue during the closing ceremony of the Iban Language Seminar held at IPG yesterday.
“Currently, only a number of schools in the state teach the Iban subject due to the shortage of manpower,” Bedui stressed.
He therefore encouraged more teachers to opt to teach the subject in secondary schools in order to preserve the richness of the native language.
“It is vital as we do not want the young and future generations, particularly among the Iban native, to lose the originality of the language and eventually its legacy.
“If the language is fluently used, it will also be possible to promote it to not only among the Iban community but also other communities in the nation, as well as internationally,” he aspired.
Organising chairman Nelson Tandang said it was the first time for IPG Sarawak Campus to host such a seminar and hoped it would be held as an annual affair.
“The seminar received overwhelming response, especially when it is held for the first time with about 150 participants including community leaders, longhouse chiefs, teachers as well as organisations,” he added. The seminar was facilitated by two speakers – Modern Language Department chief from Universiti Pedidikan Sultan Idris, Perak, Dr Chemaline Osup and Padang Luna from the Ministry of Education Office (Curriculum Development).