Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Explain statement on lack of Sarawakian teachers — Fatimah

Posted on February 11, 2015, Wednesday

KUCHING: Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah has asked the Ministry of Education (MoE) to explain its statement on the dearth of qualified teachers from Sarawak.

“If you say there is a lack of qualified Sarawakians to teach in Sarawak schools, in what way and in which area are we lacking? If there is gross imbalance, what is the percentage?” she queried yesterday.

Fatimah, who is also the minister-in-charge of education in the state, was responding to Education Minister II Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh’s statement on Sunday that teachers from Peninsular Malaysia had to be posted to Sarawak as there were more vacancies than local graduates for the job.

Idris said this year alone, Sarawak required 2,432 teachers, but there only 601 qualified Sarawakians for the job.

Fatimah, who is also Dalat assemblywoman, disclosed that the matter was raised during
a meeting in Kuala Lumpur chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Monday.

“Our deputy prime minister had asked the Education Ministry to work it out with Education Service Commission Malaysia.

“I told the deputy prime minister that this matter will be raised again during the meeting session with him on Feb 12 at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching.”

Among those who rebutted Idris’ statement were Land Development Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing, who believed that the reason behind the lack of qualified locals to teach in schools in Sarawak is more political than technical.

Masing, who is Baleh assemblyman, believed that Sarawak had enough qualified passes in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) and graduates who are qualified to train in teacher training institutes.

PKR national women vice president Voon Shiak Ni described Idris’ statement as a blatant insult to Sarawakians.

She questioned the minister whether Sarawakians were really not qualified or were not given the opportunity to be trained as teachers.

Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) president Jisin Nyud suggested that public universities and teaching institutions offer teaching courses to increase their intake if Sarawak needed more teachers.

He said if more Sarawakians were accepted into these universities and institutions, then there would be no lack of qualified Sarawakians for teaching jobs in the state.

Sarawak Bumiputera Teachers’ Union president Ahmad Malie urged the Education Ministry to gradually post Sarawakian teachers in their home state.

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