Saturday, May 31, 2008

Making life difficult for temporary teachers

Making life difficult for temporary teachers
29 May, 2008
My Sinchew, ANN

MALAYSIA - In the early 1980s, with a Diploma in Journalism in hand, a friend of mine ambitiously and confidently walked into a newspaper company but he left the place disappointedly less than half a year later.

When I asked for the reason, my friend told me that it was because he received his salary once every two months. This had made many reporters to quit.

Today, the pressure of life has become the common enemy of the society. Everyone, especially those who are living in urban areas have to spend wisely with their limited salaries. Who can imagine there are still "bosses" who delays salary payments?

Many Chinese primary school temporary teachers in Kuala Lumpur have not received any of their salaries from the Ministry of Education since 3 Jan this year.

Those who are lucky enough got the employment letter after three months of teaching but they still had not got their salaries. For those who are unlucky, they do not even get the employment letter.

It is said that some of them will get their salaries in May. However, they are going to get their salaries for only one month after having worked for five.

The Government has no choice but to employ temporary teacher to teach in Chinese schools as it has no way to resolve the problem once and for all. But does the Ministry of Education think of how the temporary teachers are going to survive as they do not get their salaries on time?

A temporary teacher with SPM qualification can get only RM1,080 a month, including the various allowances. How could the Ministry of Education still not pay them on time?

It is absurd as it happens in the education world. The core value of education is human-oriented. Temporary teachers are humans too. If the Ministry of Education turns a blind eye to their difficulties, how could it educate the young ones?

Although temporary teachers are not qualified teachers, they are still teachers. Thus, they should be respected. How could those who are in charge of education create a respectful society if they themselves do not respect the teachers?

The issue of late salary payments of Chinese primary school temporary teachers is in fact no longer news. Such unfair treatment has existed ever since the existence of temporary teaching positions. It has reflected the lack of sincerity of the Government on Chinese school issues.

Such a phenomenon also shows that other than red tape, the flawed policies of the BN government remain uncorrected even after its great defeat in the 8 March general elections. (By TAN POH KHENG/ Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE/ Sin Chew Daily)

( The opinions expressed by the writer do not necessarily reflect those of MySinchew )

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