ZAHID: GOVT BOOST­ING WEL­FARE OF TEACH­ERS

Their wel­fare must be de­fended by other min­istries as well, says DPM

New Straits Times - - News -

HAIRUL ANUAR RAHIM

AND MOHD AZREN JA­MALUDIN ISKAN­DAR PU­TERI news@nst.com.my

THE govern­ment is do­ing more to im­prove the plight and wel­fare of the coun­try’s 435,000 teach­ers, who re­main a vi­tal part of the coun­try’s work­force and front­lin­ers when it comes to na­tion­build­ing.

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi said the wel­fare of teach­ers should not be del­e­gated merely to the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry as they faced chal­lenges that might need at­ten­tion from other min­istries as well.

In pay­ing trib­ute to teach­ers when open­ing the na­tional-level Teach­ers Day cel­e­bra­tion at EduCity Sports Com­plex here yes­ter­day, Zahid said among ef­forts by the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry was to ap­prove the ap­pli­ca­tions of 9,000 teach­ers to be trans­ferred closer to their spouses and fam­i­lies.

“The plight and wel­fare of teach­ers must be de­fended not only by the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry, but also by other min­istries.

“They must take heed that there are 435,000 teach­ers in the coun­try, and they are among the big­gest seg­ment of the work­force who must be given recog­ni­tion.

“Of this num­ber, 212,000 of them, or 48.78 per cent, are be­low 40,” said Zahid to a crowd of 2,000 teach­ers, ed­u­ca­tors and of­fi­cers at the 46th na­tional-level Teach­ers Day cel­e­bra­tion.

Present were Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, Jo­hor Men­teri Be­sar Datuk Seri Mo­hamed Khaled Nordin, Ed­u­ca­tion di­rec­tor-gen­eral Tan Sri Dr Khair Mo­hamad Yu­sof and Deputy Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ters Datuk P. Ka­malanathan and Se­na­tor Chong Sin Woon.

While de­scrib­ing teach­ers as “icons” and “front lin­ers” in the na­tion-build­ing ef­forts, Zahid said there were in­stances when their con­tri­bu­tion were un­sung. He cited ex­am­ples of teach­ers who made sac­ri­fices when teach­ing in the in­te­rior.

Zahid said the needs and as­pi­ra­tions of the younger gen­er­a­tion of teach­ers, who made up al­most half of the num­ber of teach­ers, must also be un­der­stood.

“Their tastes must be stud­ied, and their minds must be un­der­stood. If they have dif­fer­ent opin­ions on things, we must lis­ten to them.”

He said the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry had been able to meet the needs of teach­ers who asked to be trans­ferred.

Of the 22,000 teach­ers who ap­plied to be trans­ferred, he said, about 41 per cent, or 9,000, had their ap­pli­ca­tions ap­proved.

“Such ef­forts cor­rob­o­rated with their pro­duc­tiv­ity. How do you ex­pect pro­duc­tiv­ity to in­crease if they are sep­a­rated emo­tion­ally?” he said, adding that he un­der­stood teach­ers as his late fa­ther was one.

Zahid said he sup­ported a pro­posal from the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry, which re­quested the Pub­lic Ser­vices De­part­ment to ex­pe­dite the up­grad­ing of state ed­u­ca­tion de­part­ment directors from Pub­lic Sec­tor Premier Post Grade C (Jusa C) to Jusa B.

He said such recog­ni­tion should be ex­tended to de­serv­ing teach­ers who served as of­fi­cers at the district ed­u­ca­tion of­fices and to school head­mas­ters, prin­ci­pals and se­nior as­sis­tant teach­ers.

Later at the event, Zahid pre­sented tro­phies to for­mer SM Agama Perseku­tuan Labu, Ne­gri Sembilan, prin­ci­pal Khuza­imah Su­laiman, who was named Tokoh Guru Ke­bangsaan 2017; for­mer Ed­u­ca­tion deputy di­rec­tor-gen­eral Datuk Su­faat Tu­min, who was awarded the Tokoh Kepimp­inan Pen­didikan 2017, and other re­cip­i­ents.

On the ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, Zahid said the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry’s fo­cus on Tech­ni­cal and Vo­ca­tional Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing (TVET) was a step in the right di­rec­tion as it would pro­duce a big pool of skilled and semi­skilled Malaysian work­ers and re­duce the coun­try’s de­pen­dency on for­eign work­ers.

He said teach­ers and par­ents must also co­op­er­ate when it came to rid­ding el­e­ments of crime and drug-re­lated ac­tiv­i­ties in schools.

“As chair­man of the Malaysian Crime Pre­ven­tion Foun­da­tion, I di­rected the foun­da­tion at the state-level to set up crime pre­ven­tion clubs at pre-school, pri­mary and sec­ondary lev­els as an early means to re­duce the crime in­dex at an early stage.

“Par­ent-teacher as­so­ci­a­tions must also step in to make sure that crime, drugs and other neg­a­tive el­e­ments are pre­vented in schools,” he said.

BY HAIRUL ANUAR RAHIM PIC

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi (fourth from left) with for­mer SM Agama Perseku­tuan Labu, Ne­gri Sembilan, prin­ci­pal Khuza­imah Su­laiman (cen­tre) and for­mer Ed­u­ca­tion deputy di­rec­tor-gen­eral Datuk Su­faat Tu­min (fourth from right) at the 46th na­tional-level Teach­ers Day cel­e­bra­tion in Jo­hor Baru yes­ter­day. With them are Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid (sec­ond from left) and Jo­hor Men­teri Be­sar Datuk Seri Mo­hamed Khaled Nordin (sixth from right).

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