KUCHING: Miss Wong Wang Yuen is a Sarawakian and a holder of Master Degree in Education (Mathematic Education) from the Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris.
She graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Education from the Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (Unitar) in 2010. The same year she submitted her application through the government’s e-recruitment system to be a teacher in government schools.
Her application, however, was rejected because of the change of in government policy that it no longer accepted graduates from Unitar with the Bachelor Degree in Education to be teachers in government schools.
Wong then pursued further studies at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, a public university (IPTA) and graduated with the Master Degree in Education (Mathematics Education) in September, 2013.
She wasted no time to update her application through the e-recruitment system. Despite receiving no reply, she continued to update her application every year (including this year) for a teaching post.
She also learnt that this year, there was a shortage of teachers in Sarawak and that the State Education Department had written to Putrajaya requesting for some 600 teachers to be posted from Peninsular Malaysia to Sarawak, and amongst them 60 Mathematics teachers for secondary schools.
Given the shortage of Mathematics teachers and Wong’s qualification, she was very hopeful that she would be recruited. But to her dismay, she was again rejected and when she checked her profile in the system, and the ground of rejection this time was most absurd.
It was by the State Islamic Religious Department (Jabatan Agama Islam Sarawak) and the reason given was ‘Not Meeting Filtration Criteria’ (Tidak Memenuhi Kriteria Tapisan).
On behalf of Wong, Member of Parliament for Bandar Kuching Chong Chieng Jen had written to the Director of Sarawak State Education Department for explanation.
“This is one of the most shocking incident that I have heard about the recruitment process of the government agency,” he told a press conference at the DAP Kuching Service Centre here yesterday.
He said the 64 of the over 600 teachers requested by Sarawak were needed to fill up the vacant posts of Mathematic teachers for secondary schools, yet a Sarawakian with a Master Degree in Mathematic Education from a public university was rejected of her of application for a teaching post.
“Was it not the state government’s policy to give preference to locals for the recruitment of government posts in Sarawak? If so, why was this going to against the state government policy?” he asked.
According to Chong, it does not make any sense that Wong’s application needed the filtering and approval from the Jabatan Agama Islam Sarawak as she was not a Muslim and was not applying to teach Islamic studies in schools.
He said Wong’s case was a real life case whereby a Sarawakian was prejudiced for years, yet the state government did not take any action.
“For such a case to happen right at our door step when so much sentiment about autonomy in education has been trumped up by the state government, this is simply not acceptable,” said Chong.
He called on any Sarawakian, who experienced similar problem and still waiting and wanting to be a teacher, to approach him so that he could highlight the matter in both Parliament and the State Legislative Assembly.
“As for Wong’s case, it will definitely be brought up in the Parliament,” he added.