KOTA BELUD: Some 8,000 Community Development Department (Kemas) kindergarten teachers in the country will take up education diploma courses to ensure pupils in rural kindergartens are given the same quality of education as their peers in urban areas.
Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin said the training would also ensure the teachers become proficient in English and could teach the subject well.
The Kemas teachers will undergo training on weekends and during term holidays, he told reporters yesterday after opening the Kemas kindergarten at Kampung Tengkurus in this northern district, about 113km from Kota Kinabalu.
He said the training of the Kemas teachers was scheduled to begin in 2006 and in batches of 500 per year.
Our hope is that by 2008, we will see the first group of such Kemas teachers in our kindergartens, said Abdul Aziz.
He said the training the ministry provided was also a token of appreciation for the teachers' dedication.
They dont receive salaries like most teachers, only an allowance. Yet most of them have the dedication to teach a wide variety of subjects such as mathematics, civics and religious studies, he added.
To a question on whether the ministry would offer pension to Kemas teachers, he said the important thing now was to help them get their diplomas.
To another question, Abdul Aziz said more roads would be built, sanitation would be improved and power and water supplies boosted in Sabah and Sarawak's interior under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.