PETALING JAYA: Allowances for trainee teachers will be stopped from June next year.
Those pursuing their teaching qualifications will no longer get living expenses and travel allowances, said Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon (pix).
The ministry, however, will continue funding the undergraduate degree in Education (PISMP).
“The total cost of the four-year PISMP fee is RM27,831. This will still be borne by the Government,” he told The Star on Thursday.
Trainee teachers can apply for a National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loan to help with their living expenses, he said.
Existing PISMP trainees, he said, would continue to receive the RM430 monthly living expense allowance and travel allowance not exceeding RM500 per year, until they graduate.
To be a teacher in Malaysia, trainees enrol in the Institute of Teacher Education’s foundation course.
Upon completing their one-year pre-undergraduate degree in Education (PPISMP), trainees go on to do the PISMP.
Both PPISMP and PISMP are only conducted in full-time mode.
Chong said there are no changes to the foundation course allowances, and the fees totalling RM8,163, would be paid by the Government.
While allowances are the prerogative of the Government, National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Harry Tan said the soft-landing approach should have been taken.
“The Government wants PPISMP and PISMP to become like universities where students who cannot afford to study either apply for scholarships, or the PTPTN loan.
“That’s the Government’s right to decide. But those enrolling in PPISMP and PISMP must be told prior to the implementation of the new policy. Not after they’ve enrolled.”
He said it would otherwise be unfair to parents.
Malaysia Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) commissioner and ex-NUTP secretary-general Datuk Lok Yim Pheng urged the ministry to reconsider abolishing trainee teacher allowances as it would hit the poor hard.
“I was told that at one of the teacher education institutes, at least 30% of the trainees’ parents are 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BRIM) recipients.
“What is the situation like in other institutes? How will the poor cope?” she said.
She said most trainees were unaware of the new ruling.
She said making passionate trainees who dream of becoming teachers, take a loan, would cause them to get into debt.