How does the Ministry overcome the shortage of 5,628 teachers in primary Chinese schools while looking for teachers to teach two periods of mandarin a week in national schools?

Press Statement
by Dr Tan Seng Giaw

(Kuala Lumpur, Tuesday):  Recently, the Ministry announces its intention to start two periods of Mandarin per week in national schools. Apparently, it does not want to take teachers from primary Chinese schools. How does it find Mandarin teachers? Compete for temporary teachers?

 Because of various reasons, the Government has not been able to solve the shortage of teachers. The 27 teachers' training colleges and one teachers' university in Tanjung Malim are unable to train enough teachers, let alone
improve the quality. There are good and bad teachers.

 The Ministry has trained teachers to teach Maths. and Science in English within a few weeks and supplied kits of teaching aids including software. It seems to go for appearances with little care for efficiency and wastage. Are
the thousands of trolleys of teaching aids value for money?

 Teaching English Maths. and Science in primary one is controversial. The home language of most of the pupils is not English. We are worried about employing temporary teachers to fill about 20,000 vacancies? Although
temporary teachers are nothing new, selecting the big number of suitable candidates is difficult.

 It is hard to find temporary teachers for the 3451 vacancies in Chinese schools. How doe the Ministry find teachers to teach mandarin in national schools? Overcoming the shortage of teachers is onerous. The Ministry should not just go for the showmanship. Teaching about half a million primary one pupils is not just a matter of external appearance. We expect concrete proposal to solve the above-stated shortage.


* Dr Tan Seng Giaw, DAP National Vice-Chairman and MP for Kepong