PETALING JAYA, Dec 19 — The public should not be alarmed by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM) report that 41 per cent of science teachers did not have a degree as those going into the profession only need a minimum of 5As in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination.
Parent Action Group for Education (PAGE) chairman Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim said the Education Ministry had raised the entry level requirements as it realised that teachers needed to be of high quality.
“Since this was implemented, we have had better qualified teachers joining the profession,” she said, adding the report may not have taken into consideration the fact teachers may have upgraded themselves academically while in service.
“Just like other careers, there is career development. Some may have come in as diploma holders but later had pursued their degree. For those with a degree, they may have continued with their masters,” she said.
The report, titled “Science outlook 2015: Action towards vision” quoted a World Bank 2013 report on the educational qualifications of science teachers.
The ASM report also stated 70 per cent of teachers in general who held a Bachelor of Education fell short of the requirement to have at least three distinctions in SPM to enter the degree programme.
She said teachers who did not meet performance targets or upgrade their qualifications could be moved out.
Malacca Action Group for Parents in Education (Magpie) chairman Mak Chee Kin said he was not surprised with the report’s findings as parent groups had been constantly talking about the poor quality of teachers.
“Many had taken up teaching as a last resort. It is a cycle and now we are faced with this problem.”