Ghani: Country needs more teachers, there is no need for trimming


By YU JI

KUCHING: Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) questions the proposed exit policy that the Education Ministry is keen to implement.

The president, William Ghani Bina, said there was a need for more teachers in the country, “so how could the exit policy be implemented?”.

Ghani said there were more schools being built and more teachers needed to teach the increasing number of children in the country.

“There is not enough teachers now to implement the exit policy. The thing is, if a teacher is trained and has graduated, there should not be — by right — any reason why they can’t teach,” Ghani told The Star yesterday, when asked for his reaction to the proposal.

Nonetheless, he agreed that teachers “learn on the job” and not in colleges or universities.

He said a graduate might have done well academically, but might not even “speak clearly in class”.

“So yes, the real learning is when they teach side-by-side with experienced teachers, when they are assessed from time to time by officers from the Education Department. That is the real training.”

An exit policy has to be effectively implemented in the teaching profession to ensure only the best are retained as teachers, said Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Wednesday.

Muhyiddin, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, said the move was in line with the Government’s aim to transform the profession and to encourage the best brains to become teachers.

“We will introduce pragmatic steps to retain the better ones and among these are to allow teachers to teach their options so that they will remain motivated and have more opportunities for promotion,” he said when opening the Education Service Conference at Seremban.

There are some 408,000 teachers in the country. The proposal to introduce the exit policy for all civil servants has been talked about for some years, but the proposal has never been implemented due to objections.

Muhyiddin told the conference that there was a pressing need to improve standards.

He said a study by the Higher Education Leadership Academy last year found only 50% of teaching was carried out effectively.

“With 60% of the existing teachers expected to be in service in the next 20 years, we want teachers to continuously improve their standards.”

The ministry is also planning to do away with trainee teachers being automatically given postings if their performances were unsatisfactory.

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