Reconsider plan for English teachers to sit for MUET, ministry urged

The Ministry of Education has been urged to reconsider its directive for English language teachers to sit for the MUET examination. — Picture by Sharul Hafiz Zam
The Ministry of Education has been urged to reconsider its directive for English language teachers to sit for the MUET examination. — Picture by Sharul Hafiz Zam

KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 — The Ministry of Education has been urged to reconsider its directive for English language teachers to sit for the Malaysian University English Test (MUET) examination.

The directive, issued by Education director-general Datuk Dr Amin Senin in a circular dated April 14, aimed at reviewing teachers’ English proficiency level in line with the requirements set out in the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025.

National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) secretary-general Harry Tan Huat Hock in a statement here said that the move would only add to teachers’ burden.

He said the ministry, in efforts to further strengthen the English language proficiency, needed to look at the key issues that hit the schools involved in the shortage of English language teachers.

“English option teachers have been asked to sit for MUET when they already have English language teaching qualification such as the Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL).

“Meanwhile, for non-option English teachers (those are not trained in the field and are to teach due to lack of teachers), they certainly can’t reach the set level because English is not their field,” he said.

According to the circular, all English language teachers should also be at the minimum proficiency level of C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

They are also required to sit for MUET before the end of December of this year and it is self-funded.

Meanwhile, Tan said apart from teaching, English language teachers also had to perform various activities such as the highly immersive programme (HIP) and Professional Learning Community (PLC) programmes, compared with teachers teaching other subjects.

“These teachers also have to train students for competitions and other activities such as debate, drama and choral speaking,” he said. — Bernama

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