KUCHING - There will be more teachers from Sabah and Sarawak who will teach in their home states following a move to increase trainee intakes from the two states at Teacher Training Institutes (IPG), said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said the policy would look at ways of taking in more applicants from both states into the IPG to reduce the need to post teachers from the peninsula to Sabah and Sarawak.
Muhyiddin, who is the Education Minister, said the current policy on accepting applications was to take "the best from the best" based on criteria such as SPM results, co-curricular activities and the applicants' interest in teaching, without looking at which state the applicants came from.
"The new policy guidelines will be different.
"We will try to take in more from Sarawak even if they don't meet all the criteria.
"They will undergo skills improvement programmes at the IPG, so that when they graduate, they will be equally qualified or even better than the other teachers.
"This is the strategy I will adopt for the future," he said after chairing a closed-door meeting with state Barisan Nasional leaders here yesterday.
The issue of the lack of teachers from Sarawak to teach in the state was brought up in the meeting. Several state leaders had recently voiced concerns over the high number of teachers from the peninsula being posted to Sarawak.
Muhyiddin encouraged Sarawak-based applicants to apply for places in the IPG.
He said that last year, there were 5,293 applicants from Sarawak, of whom 1,713 met the entry requirements.
A total of 665 people were called for interviews and 398 were offered places in the education degree programme.
"We need more eligible applicants from Sarawak to apply. Parents should also encourage their children to become teachers as this is the best profession," he added.
Muhyiddin said his ministry would also look at the current number of local teachers in Sabah and Sarawak and take steps to increase the percentage in stages.
"This move will help the ministry to reduce the problem of transfers.
"If there are not enough qualified teachers in certain subjects, we will still have to post teachers from the peninsula to teach here," he added.