What educators say

“Many graduates are still waiting for their interview appointments with the Education Services Commission (SPP). This is despite some graduating top of their class or receiving various awards.

Higher education institutions open slots for the various teaching options based on projections by the Education Ministry.

However, in order to prepare students in case they can’t get a posting, all public universities have redesigned their curriculum so that the graduates have an alternative career path and work in other places besides schools.

We support the announcement made by Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin on the one-off special recruitment of 18,702 teachers to meet the current needs, especially for subjects that require teachers immediately.

We recommend that those holding Bachelors of Education from public universities and Institutes of Teacher Education Malaysia (IPGM) who have registered with the SPP but not gotten called for an interview or received a posting, be given priority.

These graduates have undergone the due process to become a teacher including gaining knowledge related to educational philosophy, quality of education, curriculum and pedagogy, assessment in education and related soft skills and problem-solving skills.

If the positions are filled by those not holding degrees in education from public universities or IPGs, they should be sent for ‘upskilling’ and ‘reskilling’ initiatives.

They are also advised to take the Postgraduate Diploma in Education which is offered by public universities and IPGs. This is not meant to complicate their admission as educators but the process is necessary to ensure that teacher candidates are trained with all the necessary skills.” – Malaysian Education Dean’s Council (MEDC) chairman Prof Datuk Dr Norazah Nordin“

This shortage was caused by teachers being moved around and vacancies that are not aligned with the actual needs of the school.

On top of that, there is the pull factor with employment in the private sector such as attractive salary, benefits and the focus on teaching rather than clerical duties.

Teachers in national schools have to do a lot of unnecessary work like filling in trivial forms that drag them away from their core duty, which is to teach.

This really needs to change or teaching will further lose its attractiveness. It’s no longer ‘cool’ to be a teacher.

The perks must be attractive for the younger generation to take up teaching.”– Educationist and former National Union of the Teaching Profession secretary-general Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam

“The shortage of teachers is not new and should be tackled immediately without compromising the quality of the teachers to be brought into the service.

Various reasons have caused this problem – optional or compulsory retirement, the passing of the teaching staff and no gradual recruitment of teachers.

The Institutes of Teacher Education Malaysia (IPGM) and local universities are the feeders of teaching staff for the Education Ministry but pre-service teachers trained at the local varsities are not bound to serve the ministry.

They have the option of working at other sectors or educational institutions.

Most teaching programme intakes will be between 50-100 students per year and again not all graduates will choose teaching as their career, especially those who are self-sponsored for the programme. Some go into the programme not because of interest but because they qualified for it based on their post-secondary school results.

That’s why the ministry must be selective in hiring new teachers.

Ensure that only those who are truly interested and have a passion for teaching are absorbed to maintain the positive environment and the quality of teaching. There is a need to revise the remuneration and perks (training, career enhancement and rewards) package.

Teachers are carrying the heavy load of not just teaching but planning, searching and preparing teaching materials, marking, along with other necessary duties.

More teachers should be employed to achieve an ideal teacher-to-student ratio. The number of classes they have to take charge of must be reasonable.”– Universiti Malaya Education Faculty senior lecturer and teacher-trainer Dr Zuwati Hasim

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