S'wak looks elsewhere for Islamic teachers as vacancies exceed candidates

ADIB POVERA


KUCHING: The recruitment of Islamic religious teachers from Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah to Sarawak was made due to the insufficient numbers of local graduates needed to fill vacancies for the posts.

This was to ensure Muslim students in the state will continue to receive education on the subject said Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.

“The ministry will always give priority to local qualified candidates to fill in such post (Islamic religious teachers in Sarawak).

“However, the root of the problem is that there are not enough applications to fill in all the vacancies.

“We can’t afford to let this problem persist for three to four months, which will in turn affect education (for Islamic religious subject) among students in the state,” he told reporters after handing over RM3.6 million in special allocation to 68 Chinese vernacular schools in the Kuching division here today.

Present were state Local Government Minister and Sarawak United People’s Party president, Prof Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian, Education Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof and State Education Department director Rakayah Madon.

Mahdzir was commenting on the move to recruit 401 Islamic religious teachers from Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah to fill in the vacancies available in Sarawak.

When asked about 4,000 applicants for two posts at Islamic religious schools managed by Sarawak Islamic Religious Council (Jais), Mahdzir said Islamic religious teachers for schools under the ministry required a different set of qualification and training.

“Those who want to teach at schools under the supervision of the ministry must have at least diploma in education.

“If a candidate graduated with a scroll in Syariah or Usuluddin (fundamentals of Islamic Theology) without at least a diploma in education, he or she must be sent to the teachers’ training college to learn more about ikhtisas (skill development) and pedagogy.

“Only after completing the training, he or she can be recruited.

“Nevertheless, the ministry will check with Jais if there are candidates with a diploma in education among the 4,000 applicants who had applied for vacancies with the council,” he said.