KUALA BERANG: A Teachers Council aimed at enhancing professionalism and ethics among teachers has been proposed by the Education Ministry.
The move, said minister Tan Sri Musa Mohamad, was to put the profession at par with doctors, lawyers and engineers who have their respective councils to oversee quality and ethics among members.
Musa said that all teachers, including the 150,000 in private institutions, must register with the council once it was set up.
“This is to enable them to be recognised as qualified teachers by the ministry,” he told reporters after opening a one-day seminar on Elevating the Teaching Profession.
He said that at present teachers were only required to apply for permits from the ministry.
Musa said that like the Bar Council and Malaysian Medical Association, the Teachers Council would come up with its own code of conduct and ethics for members.
He said the council would be an autonomous body and set up under a proposed Teaching Council Act, and not the Education Act 1996, as their roles would be different.
“It will be given the powers to act against teachers who violate the code of ethics. This is a recognition to the teaching profession,” he added.
He said that through the council, parents and society at large could be assured that their children’s teachers were qualified.
“The proposal for the council was in the preliminary stage as views and response on the matter were still being sought,” he added.
On whether Sekolah Agama Rakyat teachers needed to register with the council, Musa said it was too early to discuss this.
National Union of the Teaching Profession secretary-general Datuk N. Siva Subramaniam said the proposal was a move in the right direction for the teachers.
“Some form of supervision for teachers is needed,” he said.
Siva said one of the council’s priorities should be the quality of education.
“The council should ensure that only the best are chosen as we want teaching to become a noble profession again,” he said.
He said the union would be submitting its views on the council’s code of ethics to the ministry by Friday.