NUTP urges study on teach­ers’ wel­fare

New Straits Times - - News -

KUALA LUMPUR: Teach­ers and par­ents’ groups unan­i­mously agree that more must be done for the 435,000 teach­ers na­tion­wide, espe­cially in terms of where they are posted to teach.

Na­tional Union of the Teach­ing Pro­fes­sion (NUTP) pres­i­dent Ka­maroza­man Abd Razak said the Education Min­istry should do a study on how the wel­fare of teach­ers could be taken care of, espe­cially those teach­ing in re­mote ar­eas.

“Schools in re­mote ar­eas re­ally need teach­ers who are highly ded­i­cated and pas­sion­ate in what they do. In this case, the min­istry must make sure that those teach­ers posted to re­mote schools are will­ing to go the ex­tra mile.

“Some­times, teach­ers are posted to places where they are not in­ter­ested in, which makes them feel ‘forced’ to teach. These are the teach­ers who turn ‘prob­lem­atic’ in fu­ture.”

Ka­maroza­man sug­gested a sys­tem where teach­ers, who were will­ing to teach in re­mote ar­eas, could vol­un­teer them­selves, so oth­ers would not feel bur­dened or forced.

He also sug­gested the min­istry pro­vide four-wheel drive ve­hi­cles (4WD) for schools in re­mote ar­eas and to ab­sorb main­te­nance costs.

“The hard­ship al­lowances for teach­ers in schools in the in­te­rior ar­eas are ad­e­quate, but when it comes to ex­tra ex­penses, like for ex­am­ple, main­te­nance of the 4WD ve­hi­cles, some may not be able to af­ford them.

“In these cases, the min­istry can pro­vide these ve­hi­cles and ab­sorb the main­te­nance costs, which will then al­low the teach­ers to travel to schools com­fort­ably,” he said.

In re­sponse to the call by Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi to in­crease the wel­fare of the 435,000 teach­ers, Par­ent Ac­tion Group for Education sug­gested the gov­ern­ment makes use of un­der­grad­u­ates to tem­po­rar­ily fill the po­si­tion of teach­ers with heavy work­loads.

“They are now en­cour­aged to take a gap year. Maybe they can stand in to re­lieve teach­ers’ work­loads, such as be­com­ing teach­ing as­sis­tants, man­age or con­duct co-cur­ric­u­lar (ac­tiv­i­ties) or even as­sist in par­ent-teacher as­so­ci­a­tion ac­tiv­i­ties with the com­mu­nity,” said its chair­man, Datin Noor Az­imah Ab­dul Rahim.

Ka­maroza­man Ab­dul Razak

Datin Noor Az­imah Ab­dul Rahim

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