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Shortage of teachers at SJKC only temporary: Fadhlina
Published on: Sunday, November 19, 2023
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Shortage of teachers at SJKC only temporary: Fadhlina
Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek
Kuala Lumpur: The current shortage of teachers in Chinese and Tamil national type schools (SJKC and SJKT) is only temporary, says Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek.

Fadhlina said the Ministry paid serious attention to the problems faced in all types of schools, and there were short-, medium- and long-term strategies in place to overcome those issues.

According to her, this includes appointments made through Contract of Service (COS), Postgraduate Diploma Programme in Education (PDPP) and Teaching Degree Programme (PISMP)

“The requirement for new primary school teachers is planned based on vacancies according to options and teachers entering and exiting the system according to the options issued by the PISMP training and their recruitment is done continuously.

“This is to fill vacancies in all types of schools involving all subject options including Chinese and Tamil,” she said in a statement.

The issue, she said, had been discussed in several sessions involving SJKC and SJKT throughout the year to ensure that the concerns of all stakeholders were addressed appropriately.

Fadzlina added that the Ministry, together with the Education Services Commission (SPP) always took proactive measures to ensure that the issue of teacher shortages in all types of schools could be overcome.

Earlier, the Chinese education movement Dong Jiao Zong criticised Fadhlina for claiming there is a surplus of Chinese and Tamil language teachers.

Dong Jiao Zong said her remarks in a recent parliamentary reply were unprofessional and irresponsible.

Fadhlina, in a written reply to Raub MP Chow Yu Hui, said there was no need to train additional Chinese and Tamil subject teachers at vernacular primary schools from 2024 to 2029 as the Ministry anticipates a surplus during the period.

However, Dong Jiao Zong said Education Ministry data showed that Chinese primary schools currently lack 1,300 teachers, with a further deficit of 3,000 teachers expected from 2024-2029, to make up for the 500 to 600 teachers who retire or leave Chinese primary schools every year.

There would be a deficit of 4,300 teachers, the majority of whom are Chinese language teachers,” said Dong Jiao Zong, the collective name for Chinese school management (Dong Zong) and the teachers associations (Jiao Zong).

Dong Jiao Zong said their calculations did not consider the expected increase in Chinese vernacular schools and classes, which would result in a proportionate increase in the number of students and the demand for teachers.

They also said that only 252 Chinese language teachers are expected to graduate from the education ministry’s teachers’ training institutes from 2024 to 2028.

“The actual situation is that Chinese primary schools need more teachers, and this is something the education minister must clearly understand,” said Dong Jiao Zong. 

“Dong Jiao Zong urges the Education Ministry to train a certain number of Chinese teachers for Chinese primary schools every year to ensure that they have enough Chinese teachers.”

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