Teaching colleges to close?
Published on: Thursday, October 20, 2016
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Kota Kinabalu: Two renowned teaching colleges which have produced thousands of teachers over the last 53 years may soon shut their doors for good. Daily Express learnt that Gaya Teaching College and the Keningau Teaching College are among nine in the country which have been rendered as "non-cost effective" by the Education Ministry.

Any closure is expected to affect hundreds of staff, and thousands of trainee teachers undergoing their studies there, as well as slow down the 90:10 transition Sabah teachers serving the State carried out by the Education Ministry itself.

However, closing them would allow the Ministry to shed its liabilities and for other institutions to take over these facilities, it was learnt.

It was learnt that the intention was made known at a recent official ministerial-level meeting in Putrajaya.

It is understood that this was done verbally by a key individual at the Ministry's Malaysian Teaching Institute Status Coordinating Meeting held in the Malay Language Campus office at the Institut Pendidikan Guru Malaysia on Oct. 11.

Education Director Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul was not available for comment.

Gaya Teaching College here in Kota Kinabalu was established in 1963. It was opened by the British North Borneo Governor Sir William Goode on July 4 and its first Principal was J.E. Todd.

The college was built to meet the need for English teachers in Malay and English Stream Schools at the time, where it also pioneered the training of teachers in English, Malay, Chinese, Math and Science for primary and secondary schools until today.

More recently, Gaya pioneered the training of graduate teachers, undergraduate training programmes and distant education learning (PJJ) programmes.

It also initiated twinning programmes with foreign universities like St Mark College and St John University, both at United Kingdom, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Universiti Institute Technology Mara and others , as well as collaboration with institutions like the National Unity and Integration Department, State Islamic Affairs Department and others.

The Keningau Teaching College was constructed in 1982 and started enrolling trainees in 1985 after the need for a teachers institute in the Interior Division was mooted by former Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Suffian Koroh.

Both institutes have produced excellent graduates and exemplary individuals.

The institutions are not only known as a centre of pedagogy research and innovation but also house some of the country's experts in grooming today's teachers.


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