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12:33pm 19/04/2022
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Up to RM1m a year on hiring relief teachers for 21 Klang SJKCs

PETALING JAYA: The school boards and parent-teacher associations of 21 Chinese primary schools in Klang district have to bear the cost of not less than RM500,000 to RM1 million a year to hire relief teachers.

Chairman of the working committee on the development of Chinese primary schools in Klang district Gao Tian Fa told Sin Chew Daily that the school boards and PTAs have to hire relief teachers to address the chronic teacher shortage issue at Chinese primary schools. However, he asserted that it is inappropriate for the local Chinese community to keep bearing such an enormous sum of money.

The working committee, which is under the KL and Selangor United Chinese School Committees’ Association, has been collecting from school authorities information on the shortfall of teachers monthly, the number of relief teachers hired and the cost involved, during a recent survey of teacher shortage at Chinese primary schools in Klang district.

“On the expenses borne by SJKC school boards and PTAs to hire relief teachers as a result of the teacher shortage problem, we have conducted a survey on 21 SJKCs in Klang district earlier this year, and have come to the conclusion that the local Chinese community has to come up with at least RM500,000 to RM1 million each year to hire relief teachers in Klang alone.”

Gao, who is also the chairman of SJKC Perempuan Klang board, said so far the committee had received feedback from about 17 SJKCs, adding that they would later submit the survey outcome to the education ministry through the United Chinese School Committees’ Association.

Gao said the survey has a two-pronged objectives: to let the government know how much the school boards and PTAs have spent each year on this matter, and to encourage more young Chinese Malaysians to take up the teaching profession.

Many parents have opted to send their children to private or international schools instead, for fear the perennial teacher shortage problem at SJKCs would impact their children’s study.

Although the local Chinese community has worked very hard to help raise funds to improve the facilities at SJKCs, the perennial teacher shortage problem will continue to affect the future development of SJKCs in the country.

Gao said many parents have opted to send their children to private or international schools instead, for fear the perennial teacher shortage problem at SJKCs would impact their children’s study.

Meanwhile, the PTA chairman of SJKC Puay Chai 2 at Bandar Utama Loh Tian Hong told Sin Chew Daily the school PTA had at one point paid almost RM80,000 a year to hire relief teachers.

He recalled that teacher shortage was the most serious in 2019, when his school was short of a total of seven to eight teachers.

Although he said the school could apply to the education ministry for more teachers, the vacancies could hardly be filled as the ministry is facing the teacher shortage problem itself.

Loh said the ministry’s budget for the allowance for hiring relief teachers was limited and was taken up very quickly.

He concluded that the teacher shortage problem, which has become a long-term burden for the Chinese community, needs to be looked into seriously by all parties.

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SJKC
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teacher shortage

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