Press release by Hiew King Cheu in Kota Kinabalu on Monday, 3rd May 2010:
Posting teachers not knowing Mandarin to SRJK(C)
The Education department decided to send teachers not knowing the mandarin language to the Chinese stream primary school SJK(C) in Sabah has met with strong protest among educationists in Sabah together with their respective schools and association.
This reflects the disrespect from the part of the education ministry and the education department on the well being of the Chinese primary school and their way of education system and policies.
It is repeatedly and obviously that the education department is trying to force the issue and make its stern way of pushing those teachers who do not speak a single word of mandarin into the Chinese schools. The department has made use of the excuse that there is no Chinese teacher available, and being forced to use these teachers even though they don’t speak mandarin language to fill up the vacancies.
We can not understand why the government after 47 years of Malaysia still can not solve the problem on the shortage of teachers in the SJK(C) in Sabah. There is estimated some 176 or more such teachers lacking in these schools in Sabah. The teacher training colleges has totally failed their role in producing the required teachers yearly. The Ministry of Education must review the situation and examine the real reason of the shortage and prepare measures to counter this shortage. If the government can produce enough teachers to teach in the government primary school and sometimes more then what they need, why can’t they do the same for the SJK(C)?
This may seem like the government is treating the SJK(C) not as equal to other government schools (SK) who has the full government back up and support of teachers. A good example is that in government schools, the teachers have only to teach very little time and having small class of 30 students, while in SJK(C), the teachers usually have to teach more hours, up to 50 over students per class plus additional voluntary tuition class on Saturdays. Their pay is the same and having the same benefits like the teachers in the government schools. In fact all these teachers are the same because they are all government teachers, why they are having two types of treatments and job responsibilities.
The teachers training program by the education department in Sabah has already failed its duty to train enough teachers to cater for the shortage of Chinese teachers in Sabah to teach in the SJK(C). There are four teachers training colleges in Sabah and they should be able to produce enough trained teachers to fill up the position in all the SJK(C). It is a fact that many young people have applied to join the teacher training program, but were rejected on many reasons.
We urge that the intake procedure to be relaxed to take in more applicants for the training program.
We in Sabah are not to be treated as 2nd class state in Malaysia, and our 83 numbers of SJK(C) are not to be treated as “not important” by the government.
* Hiew King Cheu, MP for Kota Kinabalu