Education Ministry urged to prioritise placement of Sarawakian teachers’ in the State to address shortage

Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING, June 9: The Ministry of Education (MOE) through the Education Service Commission (SPP) must provide more places and even quotas for recruitment of teachers especially Sarawakian teachers to properly resolve the teacher shortage issue in Sarawak.

The call was made by Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii Lee Wuen in view of a recent report revealing a group of some 200 aspiring teachers were dismayed that their applications for teaching positions in the State during a recruitment drive last November were unsuccessful due to lack of quota for Sarawakians.

“I find such ‘quota’ reasoning unacceptable especially when there is a clear lack of teachers in Sarawak on top of the need to increase more local teachers in Sarawak.

“Where is the Ministry’s commitment to fill (sic) the teacher shortage in the State according to the 90:10 policy that has been agreed for so long?” he questioned in a statement today.

Dr Yii noted that based on recent reports, Sarawak itself lacks 1,840 primary school teachers and 1,545 secondary school teachers.

He also said that if there are vacancies or placements in Sarawak, Sarawakians must be given priority especially if they met the minimum MOE terms and conditions of service.

“That is why we are not asking for any compromise on the quality of the candidates, but for the quota to be relaxed to address the dire shortage of teachers for the sake of the school-going children in Sarawak.

“Local teachers should be prioritised as they understand the local culture and sentiments better and in most cases, stay longer term in Sarawak. They are most willing to work in rural areas especially remote interior villages, unlike teachers posted from other States who will likely request for transfer back after awhile.

“That is why, any quota-based rationale or excuses to sideline Sarawakians is purely discriminatory, biased and lack sensitivity,” he added.

He further reiterated the call for MOE to seriously prioritise Sarawakians who have gone through all Contract of Service 2021 teacher recruitment procedures and meet all necessary criteria for immediate placement to address the teacher shortage in Sarawak.

“We do not want our children to suffer and be left behind in their education just because there is insufficient teachers to educate and provide a quality learning environment for them,” he emphasised. — DayakDaily