‘Hiring process for Chinese schools ensures quality of teachers’

PETALING JAYA: Only quality teachers – including temps – can be hired to fill vacancies in schools, says Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon.

The Deputy Education Minister said the ministry would not compromise on the quality of teachers in ensuring students receive the best education.

He said if schools were to hire teachers on their own, they must get approval from the state education department.

“This is a requirement even for the hiring of temporary teachers,” he said in an interview.

Dr Mah said temporary teachers could only obtain a teaching permit with the approval of the department.

“This is to ensure that every teacher has undergone a basic qualification assessment before they are allowed to teach,” he said.

The deputy minister was responding to requests by Chinese education associations for the ministry to allow Chinese schools to hire temporary teachers on their own.

The United Chinese School Teachers’ Association of Malaysia president Cheah Lek Aee said the move would help to speed up the hiring process in Chinese schools as the waiting period could take up to four months.

“As the ministry is not sending enough teachers, it should allow the board of governors and Parent-Teacher Associations (PTA) to appoint teachers at their own cost.

“This can be a temporary measure because we do not want our pupils’ studies to be affected,” he said, adding that it was especially important at the start of the school term when a strong teaching force was needed.

In elaborating, Dr Mah said Chinese schools could hire temporary teachers but they must inform the authorities to ensure these teachers meet the ministry’s criteria.

“The state education department requires schools to apply to the department when hiring temporary teachers, especially those paid by the board of governors or PTA, in order for them to obtain a temporary teaching permit.

“This is to ensure that only quality teachers are selected,” he said.

Separately, SJK(C) Yoke Nam and SJK(C) La Salle board of governors member Ng Chai Heng said it was important to ensure a sufficient number of qualified candidates for schools and not those who were not fit to teach in Chinese schools.

Ng is also the United Chinese School Committees’ Association of Selangor and Kuala Lumpur vice-president and a committee member of educationist group Dong Zong.

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