STU: Sarawak needs more Sarawakian ‘guru agama’

Adam (left) presenting a souvenir to Wong as a token of appreciation for the friendly collaboration between STU and Swinburne Sarawak.

By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Dec 20: Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) president Adam Parkash Abdullah has urged the Sarawak Education Department and Ministry of Education (MOE) to consider more Sarawakian candidates to be chosen and trained as religious teachers.

Noting that the shortage of religious teachers in the state is not a new issue, he hoped for more effective measures from the government to prevent situations where non-Sarawakian religious teachers leave the state and Sarawak is left with insufficient resources.

“The guru agama (religious teachers) shortage in the state is not a new issue, it has been there for many, many years, and we (STU) would like to see that more effective measures to be taken to improve and upgrade whoever teachers in schools that can assist at the moment.

“But most importantly it is the selection of candidates for teachers in the future among Sarawakians, especially through the PDPP (Program Diploma Pascasiswazah Pendidikan) programme.

“The reason is that if we have more Sarawakian candidates, the chances of them leaving the state is very minimal,” he explained.

Adding on, he said with more Sarawakian religious teachers trained and ready in the state, it would be easier to mobilise these teachers throughout the schools that faced shortages.

Meanwhile, Adam also emphasised that Bintulu needs more schools as the current number of 32 schools, comprising 25 primary schools, six secondary schools and one vocational college, is insufficient.

“STU also requests the government to look into building more schools especially in the Bintulu division because we see that the population growth is quite rapid in Bintulu.

“We need more schools. Otherwise, classrooms will be overpopulated with students and effective teaching and learning will not be able to be carried out,” he said during a press conference after the STU Biennial Delegates’ Conference (BDC) 2020 held at Penview Hotel here today.

At the function, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was inked between STU and Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus for a collaboration enabling STU members to further their studies doing Master of Arts (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) (MA TESOL) while enjoying certain waivers in the tuition fee.

Swinburne Innovation Malaysia chief executive officer Prof Wallace Wong Shung Hui represented Swinburne Sarawak in signing the MOU with STU which marked a milestone to the STU charter. — DayakDaily