KUCHING: Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid has backtracked on a decision to terminate over 200 temporary teachers in the state who either failed interviews or did not attend them.
Although he had earlier stated that the candidates would not be taken on as temporary teachers if they failed the interview, the minister now says they can continue teaching while waiting for second interviews.
“The education ministry has no problem giving a second chance to these temporary teachers to go for a second interview,” Mahdzir was quoted as saying in a report by The Borneo Post.
“This measure is in line with the Sarawak government’s view that they deserve a second chance.”
Mahdzir’s current stand is at odds with the earlier decision to terminate the temporary teachers and reports that they would be replaced with teachers from Peninsular Malaysia.
Bukit Assek assemblywoman Irene Chang had in an earlier Borneo Post story hit out at the reports, saying it was a clear indication of Putrajaya reneging on its promise of giving more autonomy to Sarawak.
She said after the announcement by state Minister of Women, Welfare and Community Wellbeing Fatimah Abdullah of a reported 988 vacancies for teachers which must be filled by March, there was no reason why the services of the 200-plus local temporary teachers should be terminated.
While giving assurances that the teachers would be allowed a second chance, Mahdzir said it was up to the Education Service Commission to decide on the interviews.
Regarding reports that teachers from the peninsula would be brought in to teach in Sarawak, Mahdzir said such steps would only be considered if there were no local teachers to fill the posts.
The Sarawak Chief Minister’s Office today backed Mahdzir, saying measures would be taken until the 90:10 hiring ratio of local teachers to those from other states by 2018, was achieved.
The ratio was set by former chief minister Adenan Satem.
“All temporary teaching posts in Sarawak will only be filled by Sarawakians and there is no issue of replacing them with non-Sarawakians,” it said in a statement today. -FMT