REPLY TO ALLEGATIONS BY TAN SRI JAMES JEMUT MASING AS PUBLISHED IN SARAWAK NEWSPAPERS ON SATURDAY 6th. FEBRUARY 2015
First of all I want to stress here that Tan Sri James Masing is a good friend of mine and I believe he could have been misquoted or that the information that was conveyed to him was not accurate. However, this press statement serves to inform members of the public that
1. All UNIRAZAK degrees and diplomas are recognized by the government. We have never offered any academic program that is not approved by the MQA or by the government itself.
2. UNIRAZAK degrees cost between RM30 ,,000 and RM36,000, depending on which program is taken by the student. The Bachelor of Education is priced at RM36,000.
However, we take note that the graduates who are still not employed who went to complain to Tan Sri James Masing are those who took the Bachelor of Education and they attended the convocation in November 2014.
We have every respect for Tan Sri James Masing and we believe he had the noble intention to help the graduates who are not yet able to secure jobs, especially those who took the Bachelor of Eduation. We are also not angry or upset with the graduates who appeared in the newspaper with Tan Sri James. They have a strong reason to appeal to Tan Sri James and they are like our children too.
However the crux of the matter here is not about “Dud Degrees” or Expensive Degrees, but about the inability of the graduates to gain employment.
THE UNIRAZAK BACHELOR OF EDUCATION
There is nothing wrong with the UNIRAZAK Bachelor of Education. It is a good program and it has produced capable graduates who have become good teachers, many of whom are now teaching in government schools. We have record of several of the graduates who have proceeded to do their Master degrees and PhDs and are also employed by government universities. The UNIRAZAK Bachelor of Education was formulated and designed by one of Malaysia’s seasoned and learned educationist, Prof. Dato Dr. Ibrahim Bajunid, one of the three founders of Institut Aminudin Baki, a bastion for the Malaysian public education sector.
During the years prior to 2010, UNIRAZAK Bachelor of Eduation graduates were given schools posting IN GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS by the Ministry of Education. We have proof to show this. We also have proof that our graduates are being employed in other institutions, including MRSM and Polytechnic (see attachment 1). We also have proof that UNIRAZAK graduates in other disciplines other than education (such as Bachelor in IT and Bachelor of Business) who went on to do the KPLI are engaged as permanent teachers in government schools and other institutions.
The whole scenario changed in February 2010 when the Ministry of Education issued a memo circulated to all State Directors of Education to state that from that date onward, all school postings will only be accorded to graduates from Institut Pendidikan Guru and IPTAs.
This was bad news for our Bachelor of Education graduates who completed their studies after 2010. However, we did not keep quiet. Over the years we tried to lobby the Ministry to change its position on this. We have proof of this (See Attachment 2). We have sent representation through political parties who have also written whether directly to the Prime Minister as well as to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin, the Minister of Education but to no avail. They keep saying the policy states schools posting remain with graduates from Institut Pendidikan Guru and IPTA.
In 2012, at a private meeting in Sandakan, I was able to meet up with Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin together with Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman, Datuk Masidi Manjun (Minister in charge for Education in Sabah) and Sabah Director of Education where I raised the same issue.
In 2014 we sent a delegation to see Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching, Deputy Minister of Education (see photo Attachment 3) and her reply is the same, that there is no change to the policy.
But not all the graduates sat still after graduation. Many applied to work in other sectors and got employed. For the record, MRSM, Sekolah Menengah Agama and Polytechnic do take in our Bachelor of Education graduates, and this is a fact.
So, we would like to inform members of the public that the problem faced by these graduates is actually not that the degree is not recognized, but because of the policy by the Ministry of Education.
Perhaps, now that this issue has been cleared, we call upon Tan Sri James Masing to invite all our politicians and elected representatives to lobby to the Minister of Education, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin so he can table in Parliament an amendment to the policy so that qualified graduates from private universities can apply for posting to government schools. At least they are allowed to apply and called for interviews so that those who are up to the mark can be accepted into government schools just like it was in the years before 2010.
We believe this policy does not benefit the people in Sabah and Sarawak and should be amended. We have fought for this case on our own for too long. Our graduates, especially from the rural areas of Sabah and Sarawak, should be given the chance to teach near schools where they come from. You name any rural area in Sabah or Sarawak, and we will be able to provide you with names of our graduates who came from those areas. For example, I have the names of 16 graduates from the Kapit and Belaga areas who are still not employed. Second Education Minister, Dato Seri Idris Jusoh, who was in Kuching over the weekend has claimed (Borneo Post 9 Feb 2015) that teachers have to be flown in from Semenanjung Malaysia because we did not have qualified teachers, but when we produce teachers they don’t want to take them simply because of something they call “government policy”.
We hereby beg the government, please remove or change this policy.
END OF OUR STATEMENT