Batu Lintang Teacher Training Institute. Pix Zee EE

Batu Lintang Teacher Training Institute. Pix Zee EE

Three out of the four existing Teacher Training Institutes (or IPG) in Sarawak will be converted into a polytechnic and vocational college under recently announced Budget 2017.

The three affected Institutes are Teachers Training Institutes are IPG Miri, IPG Rejang and IPG Samarahan leaving only IPG Batu Lintang, Kuching as Sarawak sole Teacher Training Institute.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in his budget said nine Teacher Education Institutes in the country will be converted to either a polytechnic or vocational college.

The announcement caught Minister for Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Datuk Fatimah Abdullah, who overseeing education development in Sarawak by surprised.

She admitted not being consulted on the matters and was not clear on the fate of the Teachers Education Institutes.

“We were not consulted over the matter. All directors (of IPG in Sarawak) have been called and given briefing in Kuala Lumpur.”

“Our immediate concern is how it is going to affect these directors, lecturers and current trainees and our state’s policy of 90/10 which is to take effect on 2018?” reports The Borneo Post.

Fatimah welcomed any efforts by the Federal Government to increase skilled labour supply in the State. But was unhappy that it would undermine State Education policy.

She insisted the State needs to keep the four Teachers Education Institute in order to achieve the ratio of 90:10 Sarawak Teachers teaching in the State.

Budget 2017 saw deep cuts in money for Education – universities and teaching institutes, hospitals estimated RM40 billion to be collected in 2017 through the controversial Goods and Service Tax (GST).