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English teachers in rural areas to get extra incentives

THE STAR

SEREMBAN: English teachers will be given additional incentives to teach in rural schools, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said these incentives would be over and above those already accorded to teachers currently serving in rural areas.

"We have no choice but to do this as the command of English among pupils in rural schools is poor," he said.

Muhyiddin said the ministry had yet to finalise the additional incentives.

He said the ministry would also send the best English teachers to these schools to help pupils.

"The ministry has in principle agreed to place the best English teachers in these schools. Good English teachers will be given priority if they want to move to these schools," he said.

Muhyiddin said the concept would be similar to "Teach For Australia" where good teachers volunteered to serve in remote areas to help pupils who did not have access to facilities common in urban areas.

"We will model our programme after the one in Australia. Teachers must be prepared to make sacrifices and we will in return grant them additional incentives," he said.

Since 2007, teachers posted to remote areas were given a special allowance of either RM1,500, RM1,000 or RM500 depending on the location they were in.

He was speaking to reporters after opening the National Headmasters' Education Convention and the National Headmasters Council delegates conference here.

Muhyiddin said the ministry would also set up special English laboratories and encourage English literature in schools.

Another measure is to get retirees to teach.

"We are also looking at the content of the curriculum to ensure the teaching of English is effective," he said adding that teachers would also be encouraged to use teaching aids such as the linguaphone.

(Linguaphone is one of the world's leading language training provider of self-study and assisted learning language training solutions).

On the additional 13,000 English teachers the ministry hoped to recruit in the next few years, he said most would be from public and private universities and language institutes.

He said less than 10 per cent would be foreign teachers.

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