KUALA LUMPUR, 23 Feb 2009: The government is actively working to improve the education delivery system by having one teacher for every 20 pupils, Public Service Director-General Tan Sri Ismail Adam said today.
He told Bernama that the new ratio would require more teachers to be recruited and trained.
At present, the ratio is one teacher to 40 pupils and there are some 360,000 teachers in the country or about 36% of the entire civil service.
In an immediate response, the 150,000-strong National Union of Teaching Profession (NUTP) welcomed the move, saying the new ratio is “ideal and a dream of every teacher.”
NUTP secretary-general Loke Yim Pheng said, however, that it would require some time before the policy could be fully implemented due to the shortage of trained teachers.
Ismail advised unemployed graduates to apply for teacher training courses.
Meanwhile, on the number of vacancies in the civil service, Ismail said, there were 20,000 for the support service and 45,000 for the managerial and professional levels.
He clarified that there would be no automatic employment of retrenched workers from the private sector into the civil service.
Those wanting to apply for government jobs would have to go through the normal process of applying and going for the interview with the Public Service Commission, he added.
As of yesterday, the number of retrenched workers had increased to 19,000 and another 80,000 had been temporarily laid off meaning they were not sacked but were either working on reduced salary or were on unpaid leave.