Positive and proactive initiative to recruit teachers

Muhammad Zuhair

KUCHING: The one-off initiative to recruit 18,702 grade DG41 teachers is a positive and proactive measure to overcome the shortage of teachers during this critical time, said an academician.

Dr Muhammad Zuhair Zainal, chairperson of Bachelor of Arts with Education at School of Educational Studies in Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), said among others the initiative indirectly provided an opportunity for Bachelor of Education graduates who had not yet been appointed as teachers to be absorbed by the Ministry of Education (MOE).

“I believe that Bachelor of Education graduates should be given priority in this initiative but graduates from other fields can be given a chance to apply as well.

“This will also provide employment opportunities for graduates from other fields, especially those who previously had interest and ambition to study in the field of education but did not manage to do so.

“These candidates must go through a strict and detailed screening process to ensure those who are selected have the right criteria of teacher professionalism,” he said when contacted on Monday (June 21).

Muhammad Zuhair added that candidates from non-education background who managed to succeed in the application must undergo specific courses undertaken by teacher candidates like Post Degree Teacher’s Training Programme (KPLI) and holiday teacher-training programme (KDC) among others.

“However, I am confident that the ministry will coordinate this matter well as such programmes have been proven effective in producing many excellent teachers,” he said.

On the factors needed to be taken into consideration to ensure the one-off programme would run smoothly, Muhammad Zuhair said the ministry together with Education Service Commission (SPP) must also evaluate the candidates through psychometric screening test similar to the Malaysian Educators Selection Inventory (MeDSi).

He pointed out that such screening test would help to make sure that selected candidates did not have any problems in terms of emotional, personality, interest or value of integrity.

“Besides that, the application system for this programme must be efficient and transparent. I do believe the interviewers involved must be those who are really qualified and experienced in the field of education.

“Moreover, it will be best if the interview sessions can be conducted physically but with stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs) in place,” he said.

Muhammad Zuhair also stated that the candidates must have the ability as well as creativity to conduct home based teaching and learning (PdPR) in light of the uncertainties posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nonetheless, he stressed that it was more important for the candidates to master the knowledge on pedagogical, curriculum, content, and on the students themselves.