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Monday, July 17, 2017

Trainee teachers can't earn extra allowance, gov't told



The Youth wing of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) has reminded the government that all trainee teachers are bound by the Education Institutions (Discipline) Act 1976 (Act 174), which prevents them from taking up a part-time job.
Bersatu Youth exco member for education, Mohd Ashraf Mustaqim Badrul Munir, told reporters today that this was based on complaints received from trainee teachers affected by an alleged delay in the payment of their allowances.
"It has been two weeks of this month and we (trainee teachers) have not received our allowances.
"We are bound by Act 174. We also have classes from morning to evening and have to attend all the mandatory programmes," Ashraf Mustaqim said when recounting the complaints by students who are now in their fifth semester at various teachers training colleges and required additional funds to purchase teaching materials.
While noting that the Education Ministry has already been subjected to budget cuts, he said it would be illogical to expect the students to find extra income or survive without any allowance.
Ashraf Mustaqim said the complaints were also raised to an Education Ministry representative who received Bersatu Youth's memorandum on the reported move to stop all allowances for trainee teachers from June next year.
Deputy Education Minister Chong Sin Woon was reported to have said last week that those pursuing their teaching qualifications would no longer get living expenses and travel allowances.
However, the ministry would continue funding the undergraduate degree in Education (PISMP) at a total cost of RM27,831 for four years.
Commenting further, Ashraf Mustaqim said Bersatu Youth had estimated that the total cost, plus allowances, based on an average intake of 3,000 trainees a year, would only amount to RM 151.4 million for four years.
Describing the amount as being only a pittance for the government when compared to other development budgets, he said the monthly allowance had already been reduced to RM430 per trainee, from the previous RM595 or RM700, according to zones.

"It absolutely does not make sense when education is always the victim, considering that education is the main recipe in the development of the people. Even more, in a country that is progressing, not just materially but also intellectually," he stressed.
At the same time, Ashraf Mustaqim also took a swipe at the reported suggestion for trainee teachers to apply for a National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loan to help with their living expenses.
"How can the government suggest that students to get themselves into more debts?" he said in reiterating Pakatan Harapan's proposal to provide free education at all levels if the opposition coalition formed the federal government.- Mkini

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