Treat Unitar graduates fairly, state Education Dept urged

Abdul Aziz (in white shirt and tie) hands over a letter to Omar Mahli, Sarawak Education Department school management sector head recently. Also present were Unitar graduates

KUCHING, August 12: The state Democratic Action Party (DAP) is calling on the Sarawak Education Department to stop discriminating practices in taking in graduate teachers.

Sarawak DAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY) publicity secretary Abdul Aziz Isa claimed that the Education Ministry refused to employ Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (Unitar) graduates, where as graduates from other institutes such as Maktab Rendah Sains Mara (MRSM) and religious secondary schools, which are all owned by the government, were taken in.

He said the graduates from Unitar were all trained 100 per cent in English with a good track record in employment until 2010.

“Their Bachelor of Education programme is designed by Prof Dato Dr Ibrahim Bajunib, who is one of the three founding members of Institut Aminuddin Baki, a premier training centre for government teachers. As such, I really can’t see the reason for rejecting these graduates,” Abdul Aziz said in a statement today.

He said the state has to be fully aware that the Education Department is looking for more locals to be trained as teachers and he hoped the exercise would not be “discriminatory”.

Based on the 90:10 policy aspired to by the Sarawak state government, Abdul Aziz urged the state Education Department to absorb the 105 Bachelor in Education graduates from Unitar to fulfil the ratio of local teachers to those from outside the state by the end of this year.

He opined that there is no valid reason for the state Education Department to reject these potential local teachers as they are qualified and eager to teach in Sarawak, compared to those from other states.

Abdul Aziz also said there is a list of Unitar graduates who are unemployed while Sarawak is filled with teachers who want to be transferred back to Peninsular Malaysia.

“This arrangement defies logic. Reluctant and uncommitted teachers are bound to generate bad results. Therefore, I am not surprised if the results of Sarawakians in the public examinations are not up to standard, thus are not qualified to enter teacher-training colleges,” he said adding that bad seeds germinate into bad trees, and bad trees produce bad fruit.

When Sarawakians are taught by reluctant and uncommitted teachers, he feels that their results might be negatively affected.

“This is unacceptable. We want to make sure that our children are taught by qualified teachers as well. We must not allow this scenario to persist. Therefore, we must put a stop to this. Enough is enough.”

Unitar is a private higher learning institute offering the Bachelor of Education programme which is accredited by Malaysian Qualification Agency (MQA).

Apparently, the earlier mentioned 105 Unitar graduates have applied for permanent teaching posts (Pegawai Perkhidmatan Pendidikan Gred DG41) through the Education Service Commission (SPP) via www.jobmalaysia.gov.my.

However, Abdul Aziz said he was puzzled as to why these applicants have not been called up to attend any interviews despite graduating in 2013.

Abdul Aziz also asked if the system has failed or is there a u-turn policy in the department.

Recalling a memo which was circulated by the Education Department in Feb 2010, he said the memo stated that recruitment of teachers can only be taken from IPTA and IPG (public higher learning institutes and teacher-training colleges).

Since then, Unitar graduates have been rejected as teachers.

There was no reason given except to say it was the policy.

“In October 2015, the then State Minister for Welfare, Women and Family who was also in-charge of education at that time, Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said, “To achieve the target, the state Education Department has already put up an advertisement on its website to recruit graduates majoring in education, both from public and private higher learning institutions (IPTA and IPTS).”

They also welcome those who are overseas graduates whose universities are recognised by MQA.

“How come things didn’t work according to their plan? Has the state government’s policy on 90:10 ratio failed? Given the power to make the decision, why can’t both the state government and state Education Department make instant and sound decisions based on the needs?” questioned Abdul Aziz.

With the 90:10 initiative, he strongly believed Unitar could easily provide more than 200 graduates who had ‘missed the boat’ since 2010. — DayakDaily