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Sunday, May 29, 2011

‘Teachers from peninsula failed to perform’

More parties are objecting the idea of some 80,000 teachers, some of them so-called ‘religious counsellors’, being transferred to Sarawak next year.

KUCHING: Sarawak DAP today joined other organisations and political parties in opposing the importation of religious teachers from Peninsular Malaysia to Sarawak.

“We all must oppose these religious teachers from being imported to Sarawak after we see what is happening in Peninsular Malaysia,” said Chong, who is the state DAP secretary.

“We don’t need West Malaysian teachers who are extremists,” he stressed, pointing out that Sarawak has been enjoying true racial and religious harmony.

“We don’t want them to influence our children. I will bring out this issue in Parliament and try my best to stop the importation to our beloved Sarawak,” said Chong Chieng Jen, the MP for Bandar Kuching.

The issue of religious teachers was raised last week by Parti Rakyat Sarawak president and state Land Development Minister James Masing.

He had expressed concern that some 80,000 teachers, some of them were so-called ‘religious counsellors’, would be transferred to Sarawak beginning next year.

Meanwhile, the Kapit branch of Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA) is also against the alleged transfer of Peninsular Malaysian teachers to Sarawak as it is tantamount to robbing the local graduates of the opportunity to serve as teachers.

Its chairman Edward Manggah said that there are so many local graduates who have taken up their studies in education, but have not been absorbed into the education department and no reason has been given to explain this phenomenon.

Some, who are lucky, he said, managed to become temporary teachers.

Expressing concern over the transfer of teachers from Peninsular Malaysia to Sarawak, Manggah said: “What is the rationale behind it?

“Is it a move to colonise Sarawak? Are the local graduates the second choice?” he asked.

A failed school

He noted that some teachers from Peninsular Malaysia who are posted to rural areas, especially in Kapit, have failed to perform.

“Unfortunately, not all were committed to serve. I can share with you, one of the secondary schools in Kapit, some 70 percent of the teachers are from Peninsular Malaysia.

“But instead of improving the students’ performance in public examinations, the results are rather unsatisfactory.

“Likewise, in a primary school near here, there are 12 teachers and 10 of them are from Peninsular Malaysia. In fact the headmaster and the senior assistant are local,” he said.

Urging the government to seriously prioritise the needs of the local graduates, Manggah asked: “Why should Sarawakians be left behind?

“In Kapit alone, we have about 200 graduates who are unemployed. These people should be given opportunity to serve as school teachers to teach their own people because they know the environment better and of course are more committed,” he said.

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