PETALING JAYA: A special one-off initiative will be conducted to recruit 18,702 teachers in four states that are facing teacher shortages, says the Education Ministry.
The application for the special recruitment of grade DG41 education service officers will be opened from July 7 to enable these teachers to be placed in schools in stages starting October, said Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Radzi Jidin.
“States that are in dire need of teachers are Sarawak, Sabah, Selangor and Johor.
“The issue of teacher shortages has been going on for a long time and if we don’t find a solution, it will not be solved.
“This is part of the ministry’s effort to achieve what has been set under the National Recovery Plan.
“The biggest challenge to bring the country out of its fight against Covid-19 is in the education sector.
“With the recruitment of these new teachers, we will be able to reduce teachers’ burden, especially for those in schools facing teacher shortages.
“We hope this initiative will be able to overcome this problem to ensure home-based teaching and learning are carried out smoothly during this difficult time,” he told a virtual press conference yesterday.
He said the ministry, the Public Service Department and the Education Service Commission are collaborating on the recruitment drive as a solution to resolve the teacher shortage issue.
Their starting salary would range from RM2,018 to RM3,040, depending on their qualification.
This recruitment exercise, Mohd Radzi said, will also help create employment opportunities for university graduates who are interested in teaching and are eligible.
Subjects with the highest number of teacher shortages are Bahasa Melayu, English, Pendidikan Islam, History, Pendidikan Khas, Information and Communication Technology, and Reka Bentuk dan Teknologi.
“Over time, there will be teachers who leave the service for reasons such as early and mandatory retirement, and there will be a need to recruit teachers,” he said.
Mohd Radzi added that priority would be given to teachers with subject options (teachers who majored in a specific school subject during their training) and a diverse recruitment method will be used.
However, while education graduates will be given priority, he said a holistic approach would be adopted and the ministry will consider other graduates.
National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Harry Tan, who welcomed the initiative, urged the ministry to select the right people.
“They must have the aptitude, passion and even the right voice. It is not enough to recruit them just on qualifications.
“We have received numerous complaints from past graduates with teacher training qualifications who have yet to be called for interviews.
“We hope that the ministry will cast the net far and wide so that it can get the best and most dedicated teachers for the job,” he added.
Sabah Teachers Union president Said Saidi said teaching candidates for the state should come from the state to avoid problems with moving teachers around, which would result in the loss of experienced teachers for the schools.
On a separate matter, Mohd Radzi said the ministry is in the final stages of establishing an independent committee to look into procedures regarding complaints of menstruation or period spot checks in schools.
He said the committee will provide recommendations on aspects that need to be done for improvement on the existing mechanism.
“There will be a more thorough process within this context if such issues arise again,” he added.