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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Ethnically-mixed interviewers for temporary teachers a must

This follows complaints that many Dayaks have failed the second round of psychometric tests for temporary teachers in the state.

PETALING JAYA: A federal minister from Sarawak says ensuring that interviewers recruiting teachers in the state are from the major ethnic groups will help dispel public concerns over the system’s credibility.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Joseph Entulu Belaun was responding to a report in The Borneo Post last week that 80 of the 236 interim teachers from Sarawak had failed the Education Service Commission’s psychometric test for the second time.
Some of them reportedly expressed disappointment with the results and proposed that the test be re-marked by an independent panel from the state, The Borneo Post said.
Entulu also told the daily that from what he understood, the teachers felt that a larger number of Dayaks, compared to other groups, had failed the test.
“In the context of Sarawak, every interview must be represented by the major ethnic communities, namely Malay, Chinese, and Dayak. I think this will go a long way towards clearing the public’s misperception about the interview process and credibility of our system of interview,” he was quoted as saying.
Although acknowledging some “public polemics” over some of the questions asked in the interview, he said there were logical reasons for them as the interviewers were all professionals.
In the report, he also dismissed calls for the test papers to be re-marked, saying that the teachers only wanted this because of “misperception and suspicions”.
The recruitment process of temporary teachers in Sarawak has been under the spotlight for some time now, with critics asking why the services of the 200-plus local temporary teachers should be terminated when over 900 vacancies were reported.
The education ministry initially said the teachers, who had either failed their interviews or did not attend them, would be terminated and replaced with teachers from Peninsular Malaysia.
Following a backlash from critics, however, Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid said candidates could continue teaching while waiting for second interviews.
Entulu added that some teachers who had graduated from private institutions had questioned the need to sit for a psychometric test.
He said those who had graduated from teachers’ training colleges had already undergone the psychometric test and did not need to take it again. Only those who were trained at private institutions were required to do so, he was reported as saying by The Borneo Post. -FMT

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