Friday, July 10

‘Lack of qualified locals prompt posting of peninsula teachers’


KOTA SAMARAHAN: The Education Ministry had to post teachers from the peninsula to Sarawak as there were more vacancies than local graduates for the job.

Education Minister II Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said this year alone, Sarawak required 2,432 teachers, but the number of qualified Sarawakians for the job stood at 601 only.

“In order for the ministry to fill up the shortage of teachers, we had to post teachers from West Malaysia,” he told a press conference after moderating the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2015-2025 (Higher Education)(Sarawak Zone) townhall meeting with stakeholders at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) here yesterday.

Idris was commenting on Land Development Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing’s statement that it was very unfair that while many Sarawak teaching graduates were unemployed, hundreds or even thousands of peninsula graduates were posted to the state.

“Actually, that (what Masing said) is only an assumption. In fact, 91 per cent, or 549 of the 601 graduated teachers, were posted to teach in Sarawak. So, the statement is incorrect. It has always been the Education Ministry’s policy to give priority for teachers to teach in their native areas.”

Meanwhile, Idris said admission to be trained as teachers was no longer as easy as before because the Education Ministry was taking only the top 16 per cent of Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) graduates.

“If based on our Malaysia Education Blueprint, we are taking the top 30 per cent of SPM graduates to be trained as teachers, but we are now taking the top 16 per cent, which indicates that the standard and quality of teachers that the institutions will produce is higher.”

However, for Sarawak and Sabah, he said the ministry had decided to be flexible on the entry requirements in order to ensure that more Sarawakians school leavers could be trained as teachers.

On a related development, Idris said the teaching profession offered good pay, adding that he was informed that some secondary school principals were paid the same scale as an associate professor.

“There are also teachers who are paid the ‘Jusa C’ scale, which is similar to a paying scale of a professor. This goes to show that teachers’ pay is actually good compared to other professions.”