Chinese primary schools face an excess of 2,376 Mandarin language teachers, while Indian primary schools have an oversupply of 773 Tamil language teachers.
In response to concerns raised by the Chinese and Indian communities, the Education Ministry (KPM) is set to hold further discussions to ensure that Mandarin and Tamil language teacher training is prioritized annually.
Data from the KPM’s system as of 30 June reveals an oversupply of 2,376 Mandarin language teachers in Chinese primary schools (SJK(C)) and 773 Tamil language teachers in Indian primary schools (SJK(T)).
Deputy Education Minister Lim Hui Ying highlighted the matter during a press conference in Parliament.
The data highlights a discrepancy between the current statistical formulas and teacher labelling used by the KPM.
This misalignment results in inaccurate data and improper allocation of teacher training slots in teacher training colleges, failing to reflect the actual situation accurately.
It contradicts reports that there is a shortage of 1,300 teachers across various subjects in Chinese primary schools and 155 teachers in Indian primary schools.
In response, Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek said the shortage of teachers is temporary.
Anticipated teacher attrition requires planning for Mandarin and Tamil teacher vacancies
In collaboration with the Education Service Commission (SPP), KPM consistently takes proactive measures to address teacher shortages in all types of schools.
To address this issue, KPM has launched the “Reclassification of Mandarin and Tamil Teachers in Chinese and Indian Primary Schools” program.
Within three months, until 29 September, the surplus of Mandarin language teachers was reduced from 2,376 to 540, while the surplus of Tamil language teachers decreased from 773 to 308.
Although there are still hundreds of surplus Mandarin and Tamil language teachers in Chinese and Indian primary schools, KPM acknowledges the need to consider future teacher vacancies due to estimated teacher attrition, mainly through mandatory retirement, selective retirement, and resignations.
It is anticipated that there will be a demand to fill these teaching vacancies in both subjects within the next five years.