SIBU: Sarawak is in need of 2,240 Iban language option teachers to overcome the shortage of such teachers, Sarawak Bumiputera Teachers Union (KGBS) president Ahmad Malie said.
“So, the shortage of teachers especially Iban language teachers will become more serious when the older teachers retire in the next two years.
“If the shortage of Iban language option teachers is not tackled comprehensively, it will become a critical education issue in Sarawak. Therefore, KGBS is urging that the Special Committee set up by KPM addresses the issue of teachers’ shortage and look into the issue pertaining to the lack of Iban language option teachers as a priority,” he said yesterday.
Ahmad was commenting on Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching’s recent statement that the Education Ministry had set up a special committee to study ways to tackle the shortage of teachers in several states especially Johor, Selangor, Sabah and Sarawak.
Teo reportedly said among the factors leading to the shortage of teachers in these four states were the high cost of living and the location of the schools in interior areas.
The deputy minister was also quoted as saying that the problem of lack of teachers was not only in urban areas like Johor and Selangor but also in interior areas like Sabah and Sarawak, and the ministry had taken steps to resolve it, adding it was still under control but they needed to find a quick solution, and one of the things they were considering was increasing the allowance so as to attract more teachers to the affected areas.
On this, Ahmad said: “KGBS welcomes and fully supports the government’s move through KPM to address the issue of shortage of teachers, especially in Selangor, Johor, Sarawak and Sabah with the creation of a special committee as announced by Teo.
“KGBS stresses that the selection and offering of teaching courses in any Teachers’ Training Institutes’ (IPG) in the country especially for Sarawakians and Sabahans should also be looked into.”
He added: “In this situation, the retention of IPGs functions especially IPG Campus Sarawak, Miri and IPG Campus Rajang, Bintangor is very relevant.”