ZAHID: GOVT BOOSTING WELFARE OF TEACHERS
Their welfare must be defended by other ministries as well, says DPM
HAIRUL ANUAR RAHIM
AND MOHD AZREN JAMALUDIN ISKANDAR PUTERI email@example.com
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.
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).