KUCHING: Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) welcomes the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) proposal to set up a group accident protection scheme for teachers who accompany their students to take part in activities held outside their schools.
Its secretary-general Chung Fui San said the scheme is very much needed by all teachers carrying out official duties outside of schools, particularly teachers in Sarawak where the geographical terrains are putting teachers at risk of accidents, be it via land, water or air transportation.
“STU recognises that insurance coverage for teachers is important. Through STU, members can also contribute for insurance protection such as the Diamond Accident Protector which insures the member, husband/wife and children.
“With premiums from as low as RM4.50 per unit and RM9 for two units per month, members can receive coverage of RM220,000 to RM440,000 in case of accident,” she said when asked to comment on the MOE’s plan to introduce the group accident protection scheme for teachers.
She added that STU conducted a survey on this proposal recently.
“Through the study, which was participated by 561 respondents, we found that 89.5 per cent of teachers have taken their students to activities held outside their schools.
“58.6 per cent of teachers received written instruction from their superiors for the purpose while 41.4 per cent received instruction via SMS, Whatsapps, verbally, through other officers or on their own initiatives due to the various activities organised by MOE either at state Education Department-level or district education office- level.”
Chung, however, said there were many occasions where the rented vehicles to transport the students could not cater to the number of passengers, and the teacher might have to use his or her own car to send the students.
“Although the teachers have followed instruction in accordance with (SOPs) these are merely guidelines and do not clearly elaborate the methods and procedures of bringing students (out of schools).
“Furthermore, the legal clauses are also unclear and not so detailed.”
She said STU would therefore like to urge MOE to review and refine the SOPs of teachers bringing students to activities and programmes held outside of schools.