Sabah short of 500 teachers

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah's schools are managing well with their teaching and learning sessions despite experiencing a shortage of about 500 teachers statewide.

State Education Director Datuk Raisin Saidin said that the current teacher staffing stands at 98 per cent.

"Overall, teaching positions have been filled up to 98 per cent, indicating that the shortage is not significant.

"While shortages are scattered across Sabah, they typically amount to only one or two vacancies per school. The critical subject facing a shortage of teachers is Pendidikan Islam."

Speaking to the media after attending the morning assembly at SMK Likas here, Raisin addressed concerns raised by the National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) last September, which claimed a nationwide shortage of more than 20,000 teachers.

NUTP president Aminuddin Awang had said that nearly all schools across the country are grappling with this issue due to a lack of new teaching staff to replace retirees.

However, Raisin added that teacher vacancies due to retirement are commonplace, assuring immediate replacements by the department.

He also said that on March 7, approximately 200 new teachers joined Sabah schools, with another batch expected to join in April.

Currently, there are 43,508 teachers serving across 1,298 primary and secondary schools in Sabah.

Meanwhile, Raisin noted that the department is collaborating closely with the Public Works Ministry to address the issue of dilapidated schools in the state.

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