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Mary Yap urged to clarify the rationale behind closing down Teachers Education Institute Tawau Campus

Member Parliament of Tawau, Datuk Dr. Mary Yap is urged to clarify her stand on the issue of closing down Teachers Education Institute Tawau campus.

From a reliable source, I am informed that the Teachers Education Institute is being closed in phase by June 2020 and turned into a polytechnic.

The 85-acre Tawau Teacher Training College costing RM86 million served as an excellent centre of learning towards improving the standard of education in Malaysia. It was launched in 2nd December 2009.

I was told that this is the largest Teacher College in Malaysia. What is the logic of the plan to convert it to polytechnic just after 8 years of operation? Why can’t we build another polytechnic to fullfil the aspiration to expand the Technical Vocational Education and Training?

The Teachers Education Institute in Tawau is well equipped with facilities and it can acommodate up to 1200 teacher trainees. It has hostels and can accommodate students and lecturers and is the heart of Teacher Education Institutes in the East Coast.

Teachers Education Institute is also the best institute with the best human resources among its lecturers. It has 11 lecturers with doctorate degree and is the most in Sabah out of its 61 lecturers, and this number will increase to 23 lecturers with doctorate degree by 2018.

I would like to ask our Tawau Member of Parliament, Datuk Dr. Mary Yap, whether she opposed or is aware about it or whether she is the one who initiated this. After all, it is her manifesto to make Tawau an Education hub.

From the source, I learn that there are only 191 trainee teachers at the moment with 61 lecturers, 13 higher management, including directors and 71 staff.

I also learned that out of 27 Teachers Education Institutes in the country, nine will be closed and for Sabah, only the Tuaran and Gaya Teacher Education Institutes will remain. But I don’t understand why the biggest and best in Tawau will be closed.

I urge the relevant minister to shed a light on the matter as the community here is very concerned over its closure.

The federal government should fulfil their social and moral responsibility by enhancing teachers training institutes, not close them even if they do not have the budget to continue to maintain them. Similarly, the Sabah government should shoulder an equal responsibility to ensure that the Teachers Training Institute Tawau Campus are not shut down by the federal government.

Chan Foong Hin
DAP Sabah Secretary & SA for Sri Tanjong
Media statement by Chan Foong Hin in Tawau on Monday, 19th June 2017