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By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, June 30: Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research (MESTR) urges Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Sarawak chief Senator Jaziri Alkaf A Suffian to inform his counterpart in the federal government to grant full autonomy over education to Sarawak.
MESTR in a press statement today said the proposal by Jaziri for the State to produce its own teachers provided that it has autonomy over education, was the aspiration of Sarawakians, adding that education fell under the Federal List in which education in Sarawak is under the purview of the Federal government.
As a measure to overcome the shortage of teachers in Sarawak, the ministry explained that it had worked with the State Education Department to engage Institute of Teacher Education (IPGs) to come up with a proposal of employing interested graduates as temporary teachers.
It explained that aspiring temporary teachers have to go through a qualifying test and interview conducted by the State Education Department and IPG.
“Those who pass and are selected will be required to undergo six months of practical teaching in schools during which they will be assessed by IPG lecturers and the schools.
“Those who are found to be suitable, really interested in, passionate, committed and with the correct aptitude will be recommended and offered to do a Diploma in Education at IPG for a period of one and a half years on a part time basis while teaching.
“Upon completion of this course, those who fulfil all the requirements will be awarded a Diploma in Education which will qualify them to be appointed as trained teacher DG41 both in secondary and primary schools.
“If this proposal is accepted by the Education Ministry (MOE), we are confident to resolve the issue of shortage of teachers throughout Sarawak within the next three years,” it said.
MESTR said the ministry had discussed the proposal to overcome the shortage of teachers a few times with officers from MOE since 2019 and also with the Senior Minister of Education Datuk Mohd Radzi Md Jizin on April 2, 2021.
The ministry had also made a follow up through a letter dated April 14 2021 to Mohd Radzi and a similar proposal was sent to Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin through a letter signed by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg dated May 6, 2021.
Although yet to receive an official reply from MOE, MESTR said its proposal was quite similar to the recent MOE’s strategy to embark on a “one-off” recruitment drive to hire 18,702 grade DG41 teachers to address the shortage of teachers in Sarawak.
“We are fully aware of all the issues and problems pertaining to education in Sarawak.
“Our Minister (Datuk Amar Michael Manyin Jawong) is not new to these issues, as he has been a teacher and school principal for 25 years before entering politics.
“He was also once on the interview panel for Teachers Training Colleges’ intake in Sarawak in 1975 and 1983.
“Thus, he knows very well the ins and outs of education issues,” MESTR added. — DayakDaily