KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry has given an assurance that it will carry out a study on the suitability of English teachers from India before hiring them.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said it would need to assess their background, expertise and qualifications.
“We need to know if they are graduates of reputable universities and suit our local system of teaching and learning. All these will be taken into consideration before arriving at a decision,” said Muhyiddin, who is also the education minister.
He was responding to a statement from The National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) which had called for a study on the proposal to recruit English teachers from India.
Its president Hashim Adnan said discussions must be carried out with experts, NUTP and the Education Ministry to ensure the move would profit the Government.
“A study must be made to ensure nobody loses. Secondly, it is better discussed by local language experts with the union and the ministry so that the subsequent decision will be profitable to the government,” he said.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Malaysia planned to bring in a number of English teachers from India to teach Malaysian students as part of efforts to boost mastery in the language.
Najib, who was in India to attend the two-day Asean-India Commemorative Summit that ended yesterday, said the proposal was in addition to the programme implemented with the United States' Fullbright Foundation and Malaysian-American Commission on Educational Exchange prior to this.
Under the programme, English Teaching Assistants from the US are stationed at selected schools nationwide specifically in the rural areas.
Hashim suggested that English teachers who had retired be recruited as they were from the same culture and background and knew how to teach Malaysian students.
He said recruiting English teachers from the US was more than adequate to teach the language in this country because mixing teachers would not only burden the students but also the national education system.
Nevertheless, he said the payment for recalling retired teachers must commensurate with experience and expertise in the language.
Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim suggested that the Government recruit English teachers from England if it had the allocation to hire English teachers from abroad.
Malaysian Teachers Foundation Berhad chairman Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom lauded the proposal as the early history in English Language education in the country at the end of the 19th century was dominated by teachers from India who taught in mission schools.
“Historically, they mostly served in the education sector and many graduates of missionary schools had become leaders and leading national figures,” he said. - Bernama