PENANG: Teachers in Grade N2 under the New Remuneration System (SSB) who are really committed in imparting knowledge should ideally be upgraded to the professional and management level of Grade C.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said such dedicated teachers should be promoted instead of remaining at the maximum ceiling grading of N2.
He said at present teachers would only be upgraded to professional and management level if they moved to the Education Ministry.
“I've come across dedicated teachers who have worked for years and who were not upgraded as they're not sent to the ministry,” he said when launching the national-level Teachers Day Celebrations at the Penang International Sports Arena in Relau last night. Abdullah was representing the Prime Minister who was in Sabah.
Abdullah also said schools with maximum student populations should be turned into training grounds for new teachers once they completed their training at the Teachers' Training College and started teaching.
He said headmasters who had been educators for a long time and who were experienced should act as mentors and trainers to these new teachers, adding that the classroom should be their training field.
“I personally think that both the training college and the schools are equally important training grounds for teachers. But if schools are turned into a place for practical training, this could possibly help produce more quality and dedicated teachers,” he added.
Abdullah added that during the post-Merdeka days, the teaching profession was looked upon as an important and valued profession as teachers had a lot of influence within the community.
The event, which was attended by about 10,000 teachers and educators nationwide, saw the presentation of the Tokoh Guru 2003 awards to five teachers, Puan Sri Aisha Shamsuddin, 64, Hussain Paris, 82, M.P. Rangganathan, 64, Ho Thean Sung, 60 and Sulaiman Mohd Nawi, 68.
For the first time the recipients were given a RM10,000 cash award, medal, certificate of appreciation and a plaque each.
The oldest, Hussain was educated at Sarawak Malay Training College between 1940 and 1941. Due to his excellent performance he was made the founder of Sekolah Samarahan Rubber Estate, Serian in Sarawak in 1948.
Aisha, who graduated from Universiti Malaya in 1965, was among the pioneers sent to teach in Sabah in 1966.
Sulaiman, an STPM certificate holder known for his involvement in scouting activities said he “did not expect to be awarded this prestigious award”.
Rangganathan, who graduated from Universiti Malaya in 1970, was one of the six non-Malays to receive an honours degree in Malay Studies.
Ho, a graduate of Maktab Perguruan Persekutuan Glugor in 1964, had dedicated most of his time at the college by offering his teaching service to the Penang St Nicholas School For The Blind's Scouts Team.