Redeploy English teacher, no political interference says group

PETALING JAYA: The education ministry has been urged to carry out a mass transfer of teachers to meet a shortage of English teachers in parts of the country.

Mak Chee Kin, of the Melaka Action Group for Parents, said many teachers are able to teach English or even science and mathematics in English but are posted to schools which do not provide the option to teach in English.

He agreed with an estimate by National Education Advisory Council member Noor Azimah Abdul Rahman that the country is short of 2,000 English language teachers.

Mak said redeployment of teachers on a needs-basis would temporarily solve the shortage.

“Redeployment means identifying all teachers who are not teaching their options or have the ability to teach the critical subjects.” The government could also seek out retired teachers with a good command of English.

“For all of this to be successful no political interference should be allowed,” he said. “Let the state education departments do it professionally.”

However, educationist Freida Pilus, who started the Cempaka group of schools 35 years ago, offered a different view.

She said that if teachers were given an option to teach science or mathematics bilingually, then they would do it in Malay. “(This is) because they find it easier,” she said.

“In my opinion, we should not give a choice,” she said. “Maths and Science should be taught only in English. In this way all schools, whether they like it or not, need to master the English language.”

She said the government could provide a special allowance for the extra effort and initiative.

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