Saturday October 8, 2011
Compared to last year’s allocation of RM39.5bil, the huge amount this time would be for a comprehensive spread across the board from schools to teachers, to students and parents.
NUTP secretary-general Lok Yim Pheng said that unlike previous announcements, Budget 2012 took into account a wider scale of things and included individuals from all age groups.
“This year’s allocations are different as they include the younger generation all the way to senior citizens.”
She said that the abolition of school fees for primary and secondary schools was a good move as it would help ease the burden of lower income families.
“After all, every child deserves an education, so I am glad that the Government has made free schooling a reality.”
Lok said NUTP had hoped for a revamp of the salary scale and more training to improve the quality of teachers.
“I am very happy with what the Prime Minister has announced. The additional half-month bonus was a nice extra,” she said.
It was announced that the salary scale of teachers would be adjusted. For instance, a teacher on grade DG48 currently receives a maximum salary of RM6,325.39, while under the new scale, the maximum salary could go up by 37.7% to RM8,710.
Lok reminded teachers to work hard to improve their quality of teaching.
“The Government is giving us a higher salary because it recognises our efforts as teachers. Teachers should push themselves to improve their skills.”
Joint Teachers Unions Committee chairman Jemale Paiman welcomed the education goodies, especially speedier promotion for teachers and the further education incentives for teachers to enrol into Master’s and doctorate programmes on a part-time basis.
He also lauded the move to give book vouchers and one-off payments to poor families.
Secondary school teacher Noor Suzina Saiful, who has been teaching for the past 12 years, said the improved pay scale was good news.
“It has been a while since the salaries were reviewed, so this is definitely a move we welcome. But we hope that this does not mean we will be laden with more work.”
Noor Suzina added that she was happy about the half-month bonus.
Victor Rajendran Francis, who has been teaching for 31 years, was appreciatve of the benefits for teachers.
“There are certainly a lot of goodies this time round and I am grateful for whatever that comes.”
Welcoming the pay rise, Victor said he hoped that prices of food and other necessities would not escalate.
“Over the years, when they raised the pay of government servants, other prices would also go up. I hope this doesn’t keep happening because then the pay rise would not make any difference.”