Bleak future for temporary Tamil school teachers

Mangala Mary Periasamy, who works as a temporary teacher at SJK(T) Ladang Rubana for the past two years, starts her journey at 6.30 in the morning.

She rides her motorbike for half-an-hour daily to her school.

Last year, she fractured her arm and leg when she met in an accident on her way to school.

Despite her three weeks of medical rest, Mary insisted on returning to the school after one week of rest.

This is due to the fear of losing her job as a temporary teacher in the school.

“I have produced an indemnity letter to indemnify the education department and ministry of education in case if there is any further complication to my health as I decide to return to the school while I was given medical rest,” said Mary.

“I prepared my lesson plans and conducted my classroom lesson using a laptop.

“I feared that I may lose my temporary teacher position in the school,” she added.

This is just of one the experiences shared by many temporary teachers from Tamil schools nation-wide who attended “Interim Teachers in Tamil Schools: Cry of Agony Forum,” organised by Malaysian Indian Education Transformation Association (MIETA) at Dewan Tan Sri Somasundram Wisma Tun Sambanthan last Saturday.

“A memorandum signed by 200 will be handed to our DPM for further action.

“We will bring this matter to the ministry’s concern and MIETA is determined to seek a solution for this issue as this has a big impact on the future of Tamil school teachers in this country,” said patron and adviser of MIETA, Haji Tasleem Mohd Ibrahim.

One of the participants of the forum, a graduate from Universiti Malaysia Sabah expressed his frustration over the decision of education ministry for not initiating any program to absorb them as permanent teachers.

“We have worn-out our resources as we have seen many MPs and political leaders to seek their help to resolve this issue but until now  nothing has been done.

“I have been jobless since January this year.

“Our contract as temporary teacher is reviewed and renewed every three months.

“As a graduate with a lot of passion for Tamil school and education, we find the current practice of contract renewal is absolutely not fair,” said Kumaran Sankar who was working as a temporary teacher at SJK (T) Tajol Kota Tinggi.

“We lost our source of income since January this year.

“The present government is not doing enough to address Tamil school issues especially temporary teachers.

“In Chinese schools, there are programs during school holidays meant to empower and elevate status of temporary teachers to permanent positions,” claimed another participant, Anita Subramaniam, former temporary teacher from SJK(T) Ladang Simpang Rengam Kluang.

Around hundred affected temporary Tamil school teachers took part in the event.

It is believed that there are 600 over temporary teachers serving in Tamil School nationwide at the moment and their future is at stake.