Adam Prakash Abdullah
MIRI (May 10): The Sarawak Teachers’ Union ( STU) has called on the Ministry of Education to urgently increase the recruitment of trainees at all four teacher-training institutes (IPG) in Sarawak and to temporarily source for teachers from outside the state to address the current acute shortfall.
In a statement today, STU president Adam Prakash Abdullah pointed out IPGs currently produce fewer than 300 trained teachers annually, which is insufficient to meet the demand of primary schools in Sarawak.
He said as such vacancies could be temporarily filled with trained teachers from Peninsular Malaysia to ensure students benefit from quality education.
“STU hopes that the Sarawak state government will request the Ministry of Education for priority to be given to Sarawakian candidates to be recruited as teachers in Sarawak to fill the vacancies when teachers are transferred back to Peninsular Malaysia,” he said.
Referring to the statement on a 3,000-teacher shortage in Sarawak by Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Datuk Amar Micheal Manyin Jawong, Adam blamed the state’s 90 per cent Sarawakian teachers policy as the reason for the shortage, which has affected school performance and raised the burden of teachers.
While STU appreciates the emphasis for more local teachers to be recruited, Adam said the policy must be prudently managed and not result in the current acute shortage of teachers in Sarawak.
“A review of this policy is needed to avoid jeopardising teacher performance in Sarawak,” he said.
STU also called on the relevant authorities to source for graduate teachers from Sultan Idris Education University (UPSI), who have yet to receive placements in schools.
“The authorities concerned should get their hands on the list of available graduates and place them in schools if they fulfil the criteria of service,” Adam suggested.
STU also proposed the ministry adopts a twin-pronged approach of addressing the teacher shortage and graduate unemployment by providing a graduates retraining scheme in Sarawak for the latter to serve as teachers .
Adam said these issues must be addressed urgently by both MoE and the state government to ensure education in school and online at home could proceed well.
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