Training those without teaching background as part of recruitment drive is helpful, say Malaysians

PETALING JAYA: The Education Ministry’s offer to train those without a teaching background as part of its recruitment drive is helpful to bridge the skills gap for those considering the profession, say Malaysians.

Yusuf Danial, 22, said he was looking into joining as a teacher under the Education Ministry’s recruitment drive.

“I haven’t thought about being a teacher before. Previously, I wasn’t open to many options and my thinking was quite closed-off.

“But my friend told me about this job opening and I am thinking of taking it up to gain more experience,” said Yusuf, who recently graduated with a diploma in Business Management.

He believes that he could hone an important set of skills by joining the profession.

“For example, I can improve my communication skills, especially with children and teenagers.

"I can also have better communication skills with my coworkers who are other teachers,” he said.

He added that getting a job right now is not all about income or passion, as it is more important to land a job first and to later work out what one’s true passion is.

Education Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin recently said that graduates from non-teaching backgrounds will be given training if they were selected for the one-off recruitment drive.

The initiative will see the recruitment of 18,702 teachers in four states facing teacher shortages, with applications open from July 7.

A woman who only wanted to be known as Ng said the ministry’s openness to training those with non-teaching backgrounds would be helpful for those interested and who may be out of a job.

“It is difficult for me to find a job currently. I have applied for teaching positions in colleges but because I did not have prior teaching experience, it was a setback.

“By and large, I believe people who opt to join are those who have an interest in teaching, and this would bridge the gap among them, especially those who are currently out of a job and for homemakers who want to return to the job market, “ said Ng, who is in her 40s and in between jobs.

National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Harry Tan said it was crucial that qualified people are recruited as teachers through such an initiative.

“We are just concerned with getting the right people for the right job. If the applicant fits all the criteria like having the aptitude, passion and voice, then it is a good start,” he said.

However, Melaka Action Group for Parents in Education chairman Mak Chee Kin said the teachers who are to be recruited must truly have an interest in and passion for teaching.

“It is not a matter of just filling the shortage. Teaching is a noble profession. Only those who have passion and commitment should be employed,” he said.

He added that there were many who have undergone education training in universities who are still waiting for a job.

Instead of announcing a recruitment drive, he suggested that the Education Ministry collaborate with institutions that offer such training.

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