The untrained attachment teachers (GSTT) in Sabah are grateful to the government for giving back their job.
Sabah GSTT chairman Norman Lantayan said it was truly a manifestation of the government’s ‘People First, Performance Now’ motto.
“It shows the government is sensitive to the pleas of the people,” he said at a gathering of more than 70 teachers representing the 578 GSTT in Sabah to express appreciation to the government, education ministry and in particular, Deputy Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also education minister.
Norman however, reminded the GSTT that they should use the second opportunity to push themselves to the limit in their service.
“As teachers, we play a crucial role in the future of the next generation,” he said, adding that it was worth going through all the trouble to plead their case to Muhyiddin and the ministry at Putrajaya.
The GSTT, all graduates from local universities, did not get their contract renewed after it expired last year.
Special Officer with the rural government and regional development ministry Jamawi Jaafar, who had accompanied the Sabah group to Putrajaya and helped them prepare and submit the memorandum for consideration, said it was a matter of negotiating at the opportune time.
All 13,000 GSTT in the country would benefit from the government’s decision. Meanwhile, Azrey Damit, 30, from Kota Belud, is ecstatic over the second chance. A graduate in finance, the father of four said the two-year experience in SMK Pekan II, Kota Belud had intensified his interest to become a full-time teacher.
“I taught students from forms one to four, I know the challenges in teaching but I am determined to make it my lifelong career,” he said. Kasmiah Marimin, 29, a single mother with three children, and also a graduate in finance from Universiti Sains Malaysia, she said she always liked teaching.
“I decided that I wanted to pursue teaching so I submitted nine out of 10applications to the universities for the course. All nine were rejected. So, Ihad no other choice but to take finance.”
She said her passion for teaching was fired by her success at teaching her mother how to read and calculate, while in Form Four.
“Now, my mother can read and count, and I realise that I somehow have that skill in teaching. It is such a satisfaction and I want to continue teaching,”she said.
One of her subjects at SM Ken Hwa, Keningau was Living Skills, and she taught cookery and tailoring. She found that those who were quite slow in their studies excelled in the subject. Grateful to the government for allowing them to continue teaching, she hoped all the GSTT would also be considered for the holiday training course.