MoE working on transferring Sarawakian teachers back to state, says deputy minister

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon speaks to reporters after conducting an inspection on Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Main Convent in Ipoh June 23, 2020. ― Picture by Farhan Najib
Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon speaks to reporters after conducting an inspection on Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Main Convent in Ipoh June 23, 2020. ― Picture by Farhan Najib

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SIBU, Dec 3 — The Ministry of Education (MOE) will work out a plan to help transfer Sarawakians teaching in the Peninsula back to the state.

Its deputy minister Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon admitted it was not easy to do that, due the vacancy constraints.

“We will try our best to accommodate the applications from Sarawak teachers who are applying to come back. We actually want to bring them back, so that they will be happy and work without stress, especially now during the Covid-19 pandemic when everyone is so stressed out,” he said.

Mah was speaking to reporters after a dialogue with the Management of United Association of Private Chinese Secondary Schools and United Association of Aided Chinese Primary Schools for Sibu and Kapit Divisions held at Wisma Dong Zong yesterday.

Among those present were Temenggong Dato Vincent Lau and Thomas Tang, chairman of United Association of Private Chinese Secondary Schools and Aided Chinese Primary Schools respectively.

At the moment, Mah said there are about 50 vacancies for SJKC or Chinese vernacular schools in Sarawak while the number of applications has exceeded 300.

He said there might be an issue if these teachers are transferred to Bahasa-medium schools.

“So we are looking at other ways to deal with this problem,” he said.

Mah said the same thing happened for the teachers from Kelantan, Penang and Perak.

Citing Kelantan, he said there were many Malay teachers teaching Islamic studies who wished to be transferred back to Kelantan but it was impossible because there was no vacancy.

“So our effort is to get them back to the nearest station in Kelantan, like northern part of Perak or Pahang, so that they can serve in the station nearest to their home.”

Mah said the MoE has always treated Sarawak in a special way when it comes to education.

“Sarawak is always given a lot more leeway compared to other states. There are so many Chinese school teachers from Sarawak, especially Sibu, taking up teaching as a profession and this, in a way, is quite peculiar though interesting,” he said.

Still, Mah reminded those interested to take up teaching as a profession that service comes first.

“When they apply to become a teacher, this is what they have learnt. But in reality, it may not be the same,” he added.

On the 18,072 one-off teacher applications for 2022 made via Education Service Commission, he said the name of the successful candidates will be announced on Dec 6.

“They just have to wait for a few more days and they will know who the successful candidates are,” he added.

He said this was a historic decision as it would be the first time the exercise involved so many teachers nationwide. — Borneo Post

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