PETALING JAYA: Posting graduate teachers to primary schools from next year may finally resolve the issue of slow promotions of teachers with degrees obtained via distance learning, said the National Union of the Teaching Profession.
Hopefully, teachers with PJJ (distance learning programmes) degrees could now also serve as general purpose teachers in primary schools drawing a graduates salary, said union secretary-general Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam.
He added that teachers with PJJ degrees faced two main problems slow promotions and oversupply in certain options.
These teachers are called for promotion interviews with the Education Commission but often do not get a reply even after a year. Also, there is low demand for teachers whose options are Bahasa Melayu and Counselling, as there are too many of them who majored in these subjects, Siva said.
At present, teachers with PJJ degrees are only promoted to a graduates scale when there is a vacancy.
To teach a specific subject in secondary school, teachers must have selected that subject option during training.
The Star recently reported that primary schools would have graduate teachers from next year after the first batch of 5,000 graduates complete their teaching course, which means they could continue teaching in primary schools and receive a graduates salary.
The graduates have already begun a 39-week teacher training programme under the Kursus Perguruan Lepasan Ijazah (Postgraduate Teacher Training Course) to include the primary school syllabus.
Siva stressed that while the union welcomed Education director-general Datuk Abdul Rafie Mahats announcement, it was imperative that the PJJ issue be resolved.
Teachers who have subject options that are not in demand in secondary schools could perhaps serve in primary schools, he suggested.
Abdul Rafie said on Friday that the Public Services Department had given the go-ahead for graduate teachers in primary schools to be placed in the appropriate salary scale when they start teaching next year.