Chinese educationists to go ahead with rally on teacher shortage
KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — The United Chinese School Committees Association (Dong Zong) will go ahead with a mass rally planned this Sunday to voice its concern over the shortage of teachers in Chinese primary schools.
Dong Zong said this was despite Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong’s (picture) announcement on Wednesday about the Education Ministry’s eight long- and short-term plans to resolve the issue.
“The deputy minister announced the eight plans five days after (the second roundtable discussion on March 16), on March 21,” Dong Zong was quoted as saying today by Sin Chew Daily.
“This hasty announcement is an attempt to offset the 325 rally. Its motives are obvious.”
Dong Zong said it remained cautious as Education Ministry officials had made various commitments to resolve the long-standing issue in the past, but had not kept their promises.
However, Dong Zong president Dr Yap Sin Tian said the association remains open to roundtable discussions to highlight the grievances of Chinese schools and will still attend a meeting with the ministry scheduled for March 30.
“Dong Zong hopes that with the rally, better results could be achieved in subsequent dialogues with the ministry,” Yap was quoted as saying yesterday by The Sun.
“In order not to blur the focus of the rally, no representatives from political parties have been invited to give speeches,” he said.
In supporting the rally, United Chinese School Teachers’ Association of Malaysia (Jiao Zong) president Ong Kow Yee said Chinese schools also faced the problem of non-Mandarin-speaking teachers being posted to these schools.
He said Jiao Zong had written numerous times to the Education Ministry for discussion but the matter remains unresolved.
“As such, we are gathering concerned Chinese groups to express the community’s unhappiness on the issue,” he said.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had announced that more Mandarin-speaking teachers will be trained to solve the shortage.
He said the government was committed to resolving the problem and had appointed Wee to speak to Chinese educationist groups to come up with a solution.
It was also reported that the Education Ministry had placed 1,482 temporary teachers in Chinese schools nationwide since January to address the shortage.
Wee had said there were only 392 vacancies left and headmasters needed to appoint temporary teachers according to their requirements.
Thousands of representatives of Chinese educational groups and non-governmental organisations are expected to attend Sunday’s rally in Kajang.