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KUALA LUMPUR: The controversial issue regarding the shortage of teachers in vernacular schools took the spotlight in the winding up debate of the royal address by the education ministry in the Dewan Rakyat today.
Deputy education minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong stressed that following a Cabinet decision on Feb 22, a special committee was set up to find concrete strategies in solving shortages of teachers in vernacular schools.
The special committee will meet with all stakeholders to resolve the matter.
“The action plan, which was agreed by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, stated that the ministry will transfer teachers who are not qualified to teach in dual languages in vernacular schools to national schools,” he told Nga Kor Ming (DAP-Taiping).
Wee explained that it was important for teachers to be able to teach in Bahasa Malaysia and English for level 1 (Years 1,2, and 3) while for Level 2 (Years 4, 5, and 6) it can be taught by teachers who took the two subjects as their option.
“This is because it will be easier for students to understand the subject while for those at Level 2, teachers with the right qualifications could still teach despite being Malay, Indian or Kadazan,” he said.
He said that the Ministry would also speed up the interview process of the 5,523 applicants from various local higher education institutes that applied to teach at secondary schools.
“However, at the moment we only have 2,260 positions but we will fill them in stages,” he told Datuk Ibrahim Ali (Ind-Pasir Mas).
He also denied allegations that the Government had discriminated in allocating education funds to vernacular schools.
“We never sidelined any vernacular schools as alleged by some irresponsible quarters.
“The Education Ministry had allocated RM150 mil to all schools and all the fees had been paid by the Government. They should look at the overall cost instead of taking certain data out of context,” he told M. Kulasegaran (DAP-Ipoh Barat).
He chided the opposition for politicising and not co-operating with the Education Ministry to provide lands for vernacular schools in Selangor.
“We had repeatedly asked the Selangor state government to work with us as well as to reduce the bureaucracy, but sometimes to no avail. This has caused many delays in the implementation of the projects,” he said.