KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 ― The recruitment of Islamic religious teachers from peninsular Malaysia and Sabah to teach in Sarawak will fill up the vacancies there, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid has said.
He said that although the state government abides by a 90:10 ratio of local to West Malaysian teachers, the high number of vacancies meant that they needed to fill it or students may go for months without Islamic education.
“If for three months, we cannot find Islamic teachers to teach the subject at schools in Sarawak, don’t tell me we should just leave the students with no teachers to teach them?” he was quoted saying in the Borneo Post.
Mahdzir had also pointed out that Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Openg had also agreed to the posting of religious teachers from peninsular Malaysia to the state.
“He has agreed for us to post teachers to schools which need to fill the vacancy of Islamic religious teachers.”
Mahdzir was commenting on the move to recruit 401 Islamic religious teachers from peninsular Malaysia and Sabah to fill in the vacancies available in Sarawak.
According to the local news portal, he was also asked to comment on a recent news report that the state requested for 433 Islamic religious teachers from peninsular Malaysia to teach in the state.
This is despite the State Islamic Religious Department (Jais) receiving 4,438 applications for Islamic religious teachers in January this year.
Mahdzir said that he will look into the matter to see if those local religious teachers were qualified as the ministry required a different set of qualification and training.
“If they have the proper education such as degree in education or if he or she has degrees in education and Islamic studies, then it is not wrong for us to hire them,” he said.
“If a candidate graduated with a scroll in Syariah or Usuluddin (fundamentals of Islamic Theology) without at least a diploma in education, he or she must be sent to the teachers’ training college to learn more about ikhtisas (skill development) and pedagogy,” he said.
“These days, there are also aspiring teachers with degrees in Syariah law or Usuluddin. But they must be sent to teachers’ training college where they will be taught how to teach and so on,” he said.