JOHOR BARU: The Education Ministry will tighten the entry requirements for trainee teachers from next year as outlined in the Malaysia Education Blueprint.
“We will only take in the top 30% of Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia students out of the 400,000 who sit for the examination annually.
“Previously, we took in teachers with 6As or 7As.
“Now we will take in those with 9As,” said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at a gathering with young teachers, aged 23 to 40, here yesterday.
Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, added that the ministry was also improving the proficiency of the 70,000 English teachers nationwide.
“We also need to improve the quality of teachers who teach Mathematics and Science,” he said, adding that technology would be utilised to ensure teachers were not away from their schools for too long during the training sessions.
Muhyiddin acknowledged that many wanted the ministry to improve the quality of teachers.
“There are about 500,000 teachers in 10,000 schools nationwide.
“There are those who are good, not good, hardworking and even those who are lazy.
“There are also some who are absent from school,” he said, while reminding teachers to be dedicated to their profession.
Muhyiddin added that the Government was committed to ensuring the successful implementation of the blueprint, especially with the huge allocation of RM500mil in next year's Budget.
On another issue, Muhyiddin added that an additional 25 English teaching assistants (ETAs) would be brought into the country next year.
He added that the 50 foreign ETAs who are currently here have helped enhance students' proficiency in the language.
“The students have shown a lot of interest in learning English and are also willing to speak in the language,” he said.
The ETAs were assigned to schools in Johor, Pahang and Terengganu under the Fulbright English Teacher Assistantship programme.
Meanwhile, Muhyiddin said the construction of the Langat 2 water treatment plant project needed to be expedited as the situation was critical.
“Out of the 34 water treatment plants in Selangor, at least six or seven are running round the clock.
“My concern is that if they break down or fail, it will affect the surrounding areas,” he said.