THE recruitment of trained English teachers from India under the School Improvement Specialist Coaches (SISC +) programme will be finalised soon. Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan said in parliament that teachers would be placed in several rural schools across the country, including “hot spot” schools to help raise the competency level of local English teachers in line with the Upholding Bahasa Malaysia and Strengthening English (MBMMBI) policy.
“It had been on the ministry's agenda to bring in trained teachers from India in the near future, to improve the command of the language in rural schools in the country,” he said.
Kamalanathan said with the SISC+ programme, teachers would be made aware of effective teaching practices and ways of managing the classrooms more efficiently.
He also said that there were some “encouraging early achievements” with the first wave of the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 coming to an end.
"Of the 1.3 million pupils who went through the Literacy and Numeracy (Linus) programme 2.0 screening programme last year, 98.7% of Year Three pupils succeeded in mastering basic Malay language literacy, 99% in basic numeracy, while 83% of Year Two pupils mastered basic English literacy," he said.
He added that last year, a total of 62 intervention modules from Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) were developed as a long-term measure in setting national curriculum standards and assessments.
Kamalanathan said in an effort to elevate the teaching profession, requirements for recruitment of new teachers had been tightened and 100% of new teachers recruited last year obtained at least 5As in theSPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia).
“Those who signed up for Teaching English as a Second Language or TESL programme are required to attain grade A in English,” he said.
The implementation of various initiatives under the first wave of the Malaysia Education Blueprint was to reduce the significant achievement gap between urban and rural schools, in addition to yielding more success not only in terms of academic performance but also improving the socio-economic gap by 2020. – Bernama