PETALING JAYA: The Chinese education movement Dong Jiao Zong has criticised education minister Fadhlina Sidek for claiming there is a surplus of Chinese and Tamil language teachers.
Dong Jiao Zong said her remarks in a recent parliamentary reply were unprofessional and irresponsible.
Fadhlina, in a written reply to Raub MP Chow Yu Hui, said there was no need to train additional Chinese and Tamil subject teachers at vernacular primary schools from 2024 to 2029 as the ministry anticipates a surplus during the period.
However, Dong Jiao Zong said education ministry data showed that Chinese primary schools currently lack 1,300 teachers, with a further deficit of 3,000 teachers expected from 2024-2029, to make up for the 500 to 600 teachers who retire or leave Chinese primary schools every year.
There would be a deficit of 4,300 teachers, the majority of whom are Chinese language teachers,” said Dong Jiao Zong, the collective name for Chinese school management (Dong Zong) and the teachers associations (Jiao Zong).
Dong Jiao Zong said that their calculations did not consider the expected increase in Chinese vernacular schools and classes, which would result in a proportionate increase in the number of students and the demand for teachers.
They also said that only 252 Chinese language teachers are expected to graduate from the education ministry’s teachers’ training institutes from 2024 to 2028.
“The actual situation is that Chinese primary schools need more teachers, and this is something the education minister must clearly understand,” said Dong Jiao Zong. “Dong Jiao Zong urges the education ministry to train a certain number of Chinese teachers for Chinese primary schools every year to ensure that they have enough Chinese teachers.”
In her parliamentary reply, Fadhlina said Chinese primary schools needed 6,319 teachers for the Chinese subject as of Sept 29 this year, but a total of 6,859 positions have been filled, making for an excess of 540 teachers.
There was also an excess of 308 teachers on top of the 1,433 teachers needed to teach Tamil at Tamil schools.
“After considering all elements in projecting demand for teachers from 2024 to 2029, it was found there is no need for new teachers for the Chinese and Tamil language options because there is a surplus for these options,” she told the Dewan Rakyat.