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Why import? Local talent pool can teach Mandarin

 | December 3, 2014

DAP's Teo Nie Ching says government can tap into local talent pool instead of importing teachers from China to teach Mandarin in national schools.

mandarin teachersPETALING JAYA: Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching said that the government shouldn’t be too hasty about importing Mandarin teachers from China as this could have a nationwide impact and huge cost implications.

Teo who is also the DAP Assistant National Publicity Secretary said in a statement: “A policy that has nationwide impact and huge cost implications should be discussed thoroughly and planned carefully.”

She said that the decision should not be announced in the Umno General Assembly and implemented just one month later.

“We do not want to see a repeat of mistakes made by the government in PPSMI (the teaching and learning of science and mathematics in English), as the future of our students is at stake,” stated Teo.

She welcomed the government’s proposal to establish Mandarin as a third language in national schools but dismissed the idea of importing teachers and language experts from China.

She felt that these teachers were not fluent in Malay and would experience difficulty in communicating with our local students.

Teo asked Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to tap into the local talent pool first before looking to China for a solution.

According to her, 21 per cent of Malaysian primary school students study at SJKC schools.

On top of that, there are currently around 80,000 students in Chinese Independent Schools which were all potential candidates for becoming future Mandarin teachers.

Moreover, Teo said the government had admitted there were 289 graduate trainee teachers and 495 more scheduled to graduate this December who are specifically trained to teach Mandarin as a second language in our national schools.

She asked the education ministry to look into increasing the intake for teaching Mandarin as a third language through the Program Ijazah Sarjana Muda Perguruan (PISMP) and Kursus Diploma Perguruan Malaysia – Kursus Dalam Cuti (KDPM-KDC) and work with Dong Jiao Zong to increase the enrolment of students from Chinese Independent Schools.

She felt that this would be a more expedient and cost-effective method of producing 30,000 Mandarin teachers for 10,000 national schools as compared to importing them.

Teo also revealed that since 2007, the government had spent up to RM12,302,720 alone to send 409 non-Chinese students to China to learn Mandarin.

“How much would it cost us to import teachers from China?” questioned Teo.


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