By Emma Victoria
PAS Sarawak has called on the Education Ministry to give 100% approval for Sarawakians’ applying to become teachers so that they can serve in their home state.
Its information chief Zharudin Narudin said this following the ministry’s announcement that it will hire 18,702 teachers in July.
“As one of the states most affected by the shortage of teachers, the move is seen as the best move, and has long been awaited by PAS Sarawak,” he said.
In May, the Sarawak Teachers’ Union had also expressed its concern over the matter, saying the state was in need of 3,000 teachers.
“Thus, we hope the intake will fill the void faced by some Sarawak schools at the moment,” he said in a statement.
In the case of Sarawak, PAS feels that priority should be given to Sarawakian graduates to serve in the state.
“This is highly relevant as the need for locals in the Sarawak education system is vital if we want Sarawak education to progress further,” he said.
“What happens now is that the majority of teachers from the peninsular opt to go back after a period of time leaving a vacuum of experienced teachers. In the long run, it has an impact on schools’ performance as many experienced teachers leave,” he added.
According to Zharudin, there were graduates especially from Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, who graduated more than two years ago but yet to be posted in schools.
PAS believes these education graduates are more than prepared to serve in schools as they already possess pedagogical knowledge and are already trained for the national curriculum.
In districts with big enrolment of students per school such as Bintulu, the shortage of teachers per school could reach more than 20.
“We hope the new intake will definitely ease the burden now shouldered by existing teachers. We are afraid if the intake is not done soon, some teachers will eventually experience burnout,” he added.