Sarawak should produce own teachers to overcome shortage

KUCHING: Sarawak Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chief Senator Jaziri Alkaf Abdillah Suffian has urged Sarawak to produce its own teachers to help overcome the shortage of teachers in the state.

He said a mechanism should be created to gauge the situation as not all teachers from other states wanted to be sent to serve in Sarawak.

“Besides that, the Sarawak Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Research (MESTR) also needs to take the initiative by providing input to the Ministry of Education Malaysia (MOE) because they are ‘on the ground’ and know what is needed in the area,” he said when contacted by Bernama today.

He said MESTR should help to develop teaching manpower in Sarawak although the task of deploying teachers comes under the MOE and the federal government.

“But that should not be a reason for MESTR not to take its own initiative at the state level. Various measures can be taken to help overcome the shortage of teachers in Sarawak,” he said.

Jaziri Alkaf said currently MESTR has three main focuses, namely the issue of poor schools, English proficiency among students and initiatives to strengthen science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

“MESTR should also look at the needs of teachers because they are equally important as they are the ones who will shape the next generation,” he said.

Yesterday, Senior Minister of Education Dr Radzi Jidin announced that the longstanding problem of teacher shortage will end when the MOE makes a special ‘one-off’ recruitment of 18,702 teachers in grade DG41.

The four states that are facing a critical shortage of teachers are Sarawak, Sabah, Johor and Selangor.

Commenting on the proposed recruitment, Jaziri Alkaf called for priority to be given to graduates in the field of education from public and private institutions of higher learning who have not been given any posting. – Bernama