She said the placement exercise involving the Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI)-trained Chinese teachers to vocational colleges and fully residential schools was based on the urgent need to start the implementation of the Chinese Language Programmes in such institutions.
According to her, it was executed by the Office of the Director-General of Education under the Education Ministry.
Yap, who is Member of Parliament for Tawau, clarified that the move was not due to negligence on the part of the Education Ministry towards the needs of National Secondary Schools (SMK) and National-Type Secondary Schools (SMJK).
"The purpose of introducing the Chinese Language in vocational colleges and fully residential schools is very much in line with the National Education Blueprint (2013-2025), which aims at equipping students with bilingual proficiency so that they will become more marketable," she explained.
Yap said these teachers will be teaching the subject as an international language option, which is a paper under the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) in the fully residential school (SBP), and a compulsory pass subject for the vocational college (KV) students who will be awarded a diploma after a four-year course of study.
On July 1, the UPSI-trained Chinese Language teachers received their letters of posting from the Director-General of Education, Dato' Dr Khair bin Mohamad.
A briefing was given by the Ministry's Day School Management
Division (BPSH) on service matters, followed by an interactive Question and Answer session with the Director-General, who stressed that the placement of teachers in question was due to the needs of schools in the nation.
Meanwhile, in response to LDP's statement that the posting of 51 Mandarin teachers from UPSI is one example of a waste of good human resource, Yap reiterated that the main concern of not being able to make use of what the teachers have been trained for was being addressed from a pragmatic angle.
She said the Ministry of Education has confidence in the teachers that they would be able to transfer knowledge and pitch their pedagogical skills at any level as they have been trained in the university to be innovative in teaching students using different contexts.
"No knowledge gained would be wasted as these teachers have been trained on how to adopt and adapt the teaching and learning materials to the pedagogical advantage of their students," she pointed out.
And on LDP's call to the Education Ministry to look into the presence of eight schools in Sabah (being unable to offer the Chinese Language due to the shortage of teachers), Yap said the Ministry has always taken into account the overall requirement of Chinese Language teachers in all national and national-type schools (primary and secondary) throughout the country.
In this regard, she disclosed that an exercise on scrutinising the data from the schools based on the tagging of Chinese Language teachers is now being carried out to triangulate the current data. "This step is a way forward to addressing the shortage of Chinese teachers in the other national secondary schools (SMK)," she added.
National Secondary Schools (SMK) that come under the umbrella of National Schools comprise National-Type Secondary Schools (SMJK), National Religious Schools (SKA), Technical Secondary Schools (SMT), Fully Residential Schools (SBP), Sports Schools, Arts Schools, Special Model Schools, Government-Aided Religious Schools (SABK) and Vocational Colleges (KV).