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By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, Dec 20: The Ministry of Education ought to train more Sarawakians to address the shortage of religious teachers in Sarawak.
Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said this issue had been there since 15 years ago, and it is about time something is done about it.
“To address this issue, my recommendation is to train more local religious teachers because local ones will understand local sentiments and cultures better,” he told reporters after contributing RM95,000 to SMK Pending here together with Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong this morning to fix the school’s football field and its access road.
Currently, he said, 319 national schools (Sekolah Kebangsaan) in Sarawak lack religious teachers, and the figure in Sabah is 486.
He said according to the Education Ministry, technically, as long as there is a Muslim student in a school, it would need one teacher for the whole school.
Nonetheless, he opined that it would not be right to discriminate or throw general statements against West Malaysian teachers, but local teachers would better understand local sentiments and needs of the state.
“I have communicated this to the Ministry of Education. While there may be a short-term need for West Malaysian religious teachers to teach here, the ministry has to be alert and to really monitor for activities outside their (religious teachers’) job scope that may trigger sensitivities in Sabah and Sarawak,” said Dr Yii. — DayakDaily