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Improving teacher-pupil ratio

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.


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2 Responses to “Improving teacher-pupil ratio”

  1. D Lim says:

    Ad hoc policies on education will not beat the decline in Malaysia’s educational standards. It is a LONG TERM strategy which requires political will and funding if we are to beat the odds to bring our country’s educational prowess into the world class arena.

    Whilst I salute the minister for wanting to decrease the student-teacher ratio in the first instance, I cannot help but think that he is doing it to “create jobs” for the unemployed graduates rather than seriously looking into lifting the standard in Malaysia’s education. The problem with using the educational system to soak up unemployed grads will incur high attrition rates when the economy picks up. Also, these grads may take up teaching as a last resort, not something they are interested in.

    If you care to read the McKinsey Report, a study on how some countries achieved high educational standards, one of the criteria is “teacher quality”.

    I hope the government will look into lifting educational standards on a long-term and wholesome approach, not ad hoc decisions. It is doomed to fail.

  2. kip says:

    Do reduce the paper work for the teachers. It is already hard coping with the teaching the high number of students.

    Reducing the teacher-student ratio is the correct method if only it was implemented and enforced with the right will. If all talk and no work, it is like saying your mother is a female. Everyone knows that so get down and get the dirty work done instead of sitting on your comfortable chair and talk nonsense! Our education minister should be proactive in his ministerial profile instead of being too busy with his political survival and keris-waving.

    May Malaysia “one day” produce quality students who can push the country towards the next paradigm shift.

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