by Sonia Ramachandransonia - New Straits Times

The Malaysian Education Ministry will set a quota and take in a stipulated percentage of men every year for teaching posts to address the dearth of male teachers in schools.

Education director-general Tan Sri Alimuddin Mohd Dom is confident the imposition of a quota will rectify the situation.

The New Sunday Times had recently reported that male teachers would be extinct in 20 years if men were not encouraged to join the teaching profession.

“There are always many men who qualify and apply. However, as the women generally have better academic results, we end up taking in more women. With a set percentage, then the best of men will get to be teachers,” said Alimuddin.

He said male teachers currently made up about 30 per cent of the teaching profession.

The ministry is taking steps to make national schools the school of choice for all Malaysians and is also looking at recruiting more non-Malay teachers.

“People must understand that the majority of applicants for teaching posts are Malays.”

However, he said the number of non-Malay applicants was increasing every year.

“The number of males and non-Malays in the service is going up. We had almost 100,000 applications last year for our institutes of teacher education. We have only about 5,500 places. Going by the large number of applicants, we are confident of getting quality candidates and addressing the gender and racial imbalance among teachers.”

Alimuddin said applicants had to go through a three-stage test before being selected, which included having a CGPA (cumulative grade point average) of 2.70 as well undergo an IQ test and interview.

He said national schools provided students an opportunity to mingle with each other in the spirit of 1Malaysia, while receiving quality education at the same time.

“National schools are very important. Give them a chance. It is the place where the seeds of unity can be sown.”