KOTA KINABALU: The government has been urged to continue offering the Bachelor's Degree in Teaching Programme (PISMP) in the Kadazandusun language at the Teachers Training Institute Kent Campus (IPG Kent) in Tuaran district.
Tuaran MP Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau said the Kadazandusun community was taken by surprise after the programme for the language was advertised this year but no one was offered a place in the subject at IPG Kent.
"No explanation was given by the Education Ministry," he said during the debate session in the Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (Oct 6).
"For Tuaran district, stopping the intake of trainee teachers for the Kadazandusun programme will cause the lack of trained Kadazandusun teachers to become more critical," he added.
Tangau said based on a survey, there is a critical shortage of Kadazandusun teachers in primary and secondary schools throughout Sabah.
"This does not include teachers for SJK (C) which intend to offer the Kadazandusun subject but are facing a shortage of teachers.
"Stopping the Kadazandusun course is unreasonable and unfair to ethnic groups in Sabah, particularly the Kadazandusun community.
"I urge the government to allocate a budget of RM1.5mil to accommodate at least 20 trainee teachers every year at IPG Kent," he said.
In his response, Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin said from last year, the Malaysian Teachers Training Institute had offered an option for the Kadazandusun PISMP through special avenues for intake such as candidates from the Orang Asli community, Sekolah Seni Malaysia and Sekolah Sukan Malaysia.
He said intake was also offered among Bahasa Iban candidates and students with special needs, adding that it was all part of an effort to meet the demand for such teachers by 2026.
"The intake method was changed because the annual intake for Kadazandusun language candidates did not meet the fixed projection.
"The ministry opened online applications for the Kadazandusun programme for the June 2021 intake.
"It also completed the intake process based on the projected requirement on the number of Kadazandusun teachers for 2026. All successful candidates are undergoing their training at IPG Kent," Radzi said.