Union calls for review of 90 pct Sarawakians policy for teachers in the state

Adam Prakash Abdullah

MIRI (May 6): The Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) has called on the state government to urgently review its 90 per cent Sarawakians policy for teachers.

According to STU president Adam Prakash Abdullah, the policy has resulted in a shortage of 3,000 teachers, which is burdening the education sector in Sarawak.

In a statement today, Adam said it is worrying that suburban and rural areas of Sarawak in particular are struggling to ensure students are taught well.

He said the union has been pressing the Ministry of Education (MoE) to address the shortage for the past few years, pointing out the 90:10 ratio was never their request.

“STU does not understand why such a policy is still in place when we know that it is the source of the whole problem – the time has come for Sarawak to relook its policies and think more of the welfare of the children and the teachers,” he said.

“Opening the doors to teachers from outside the state to assist the state will not make us less Sarawakian or less patriotic. It might be temporary but it is better than having 3,000 teachers absent from the classrooms, as teachers in Sarawak are carrying the burden of these 3,000 teachers for the past years.”

Adam said it is pointless to harp on old issues of hardship due to dilapidated buildings and teachers’ quarters as it is more pertinent to focus on the progress of school performance.

According to him, the state government’s role is critical in overcoming this issue as the Education Department can only assist with the placement of teachers in schools.

He said STU is willing to help the state government and would work closely with the department.

“Let us not wait another five or 10 years to solve this issue. Currently teachers are forced to teach subjects that they have not specialised in and on top of that expected (to produce) excellent results,” he said.

He added this is an unrealistic scenario akin to asking a chef to perform a doctor’s tasks.

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Source: https://www.theborneopost.com/2021/05/06/union-calls-for-review-of-90-pct-sarawakians-policy-for-teachers-in-the-state/