Education ministry says it: We’re short of English teachers

Director-general of Education Amin Senin. (Bernama pic)

GEORGE TOWN: The education ministry, admitting that it was short of specialist English language teachers, is to continue its policy of requiring other teachers to pass a university entrance English test before they are allowed to teach the language subject.

Director-general of Education Amin Senin acknowledged today there is a shortage of English option teachers and added that it was being met through the use of “interim teachers” and “non-option” teachers to teach English.

“Option” teachers are those who have undergone training at teacher training colleges to teach particular subjects.

Amin was responding to the National Union of the Teaching Profession, which had asked the ministry not to require potential English language teachers to pass the Malaysian University English Test (MUET) as set out in the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025.

He defended the move to retain the MUET requirement, saying it was part of the strategy to improve the standard of English among school children.

He said the plan had been in place since 2013 as part of a two-pronged strategy centred on having “quality and quantity” of English language teachers.

“We are addressing both quality and quantity this way,” Amin said to reporters after opening the National Teacher’s Festival at the Spice Convention Centre in Bayan Lepas today.