KUALA LUMPUR: The services of 210 interim teachers in Sarawak, which expire this month, have been extended.
The teachers have been given a second chance to attend the interview with the Education Services Commission (SPP).
In a written reply at the Dewan Rakyat today, the education ministry said previously the services of these teachers, comprising “open market” teachers from public and private universities, were not extended after this month because they failed in the interviews or did not attend them.
“The move was appropriate with the procedures stipulated because the SPP is a body that regulates the quality of education service officers,” the ministry said in reply to a question from Wilson Ugak Kumbong (BN-Hulu Rajang), who asked whether the ministry would terminate the contracts of interim teachers in the state.
The ministry explained that it was concerned about filling up the vacancies for teachers by ensuring that only teachers who were outstanding and of quality were absorbed as permanent teachers.
Meanwhile, the ministry said the transition rate for pupils from primary schools to Form 1 from the year 2013 until 2016 was between 98% and 99%.
The percentage of students who completed secondary school education was between 85% and 90% in 2013 until 2016.
In another development, Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid said the hiring of religious teachers from the peninsula for Sarawak was only meant to fill the 401 vacancies for the post in national schools in the state.
He said as there were no teachers from Sarawak to fill the vacancies, the Sarawak Education Department decided to advertise the need for candidates from Sabah or Peninsular Malaysia as interim religious teachers.
Hitting out at Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen, who was against the recruitment of religious teachers from the peninsula for Sarawak, he said this measure had been implemented since 1963 and no problem had ever arisen from this.
“This is not something extraordinary as each year, if there are not enough religious teachers (in Sarawak), we send (from the peninsula). In fact, we discuss this with the state government.”
Mahdzir said this at a press conference after the explanation session on the “English Language Education Implementation Strategy Towards Students’ Proficiency” here today.
Chong, who is also Bandar Kuching MP, was reported to have said during the Dewan Rakyat sitting on March 15 that Islamic education teachers from the peninsula polluted the minds of Sarawak’s young generation and brought narrow philosophy and thinking to the state.
Mahdzir said as an educated MP, Chong should not have made such remarks, considering Malaysia is a multiracial and multireligious society, with Muslims forming the majority.
“Although in the opposition, he should not have made such a statement. It was unprofessional of him.”