KUALA KANGSAR, Sept 23 — Teachers opting for early retirement in recent years have caused a shortage of language teachers although the Ministry of Education (MOE) has carried out one-off recruitment.

Deputy Education Minister 1 Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon said, however, the ministry was always committed to implementing various continuous efforts to overcome the problem.

“For the one-off recruitment of a total of 18,702 teachers, we took in more than 100 Chinese language teachers for the whole country.

“So, the ministry is always trying to ensure that there is a sufficient teaching staff for all schools. We have taken various efforts and we have done whatever is necessary (to overcome the problem of teacher shortage),” he told reporters after officiating the Tsung Wah gallery and a get-together with students of Sekolah Menengah Jenis Kebangsaan Tsung Wah here today.

He was asked to comment on the problem of the lack of English, Chinese and Tamil language teachers nationwide although 18,702 Grade DG41 education services officers (PPP) were appointed in a “one-off” special recruitment to fill vacancies in MOE schools under the authority of the Education Services Commission (SPP) last year.

Earlier, Senior Minister of Education Datuk Mohd Radzi Md Jidin was quoted to have said that the Ministry of Education was looking into the long-standing problem of shortage of English teachers in Kelantan to ensure that students in the state have teachers with the necessary expertise.

Radzi said schools in Kelantan are experiencing a shortage of 450 English teachers in primary schools and over 200 in secondary schools and the shortage was filled by non-option teachers who received training and were identified as capable of teaching the subject. — Bernama