Still unclear if teacher shortage to be addressed in Sabah before new term

KOTA KINABALU: It is unclear whether Sabah’s shortage of teachers’ will be addressed before the new school term starts in March.

Deputy Education Minister Lim Hui Ying was not given the opportunity to respond to questions regarding this matter after she visited SK Sungai Anib 3 and SJKC Pei Ying in Sandakan district on Wednesday (Feb 8).

She also opted to skip the question when asked about the teacher shortage situation for Sabah as an official from the delegation requested that she stick to matters concerning the event because she was rushing for another function.

Last month, Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek said the ministry would resolve the shortage of teachers in all states before the new school session begins in March.

These include Sabah and Sarawak, though the situation in Sabah had previously been reported as "not critical".

It was reported last year that language teachers were among those lacking in Sabah with not many taking up the courses needed to fill these posts and teachers opting to retire early being among the main contributors to this problem.

Earlier in the visit to SK Sungai Anib 3 on its special education class, Lim said such syllabus should be prioritised more, and that each district should have a school that provides special education classes.

She said all children should be given a chance at education, regardless of their mental or physical state.

"It is important that we put more focus on special education," she said, adding this was a matter close to her heart personally.

For that, Lim announced a RM100,000 fund for SK Sungai Anib 3 for its maintenance and repair works on some of the buildings and structures of the school.

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