Govt hopes to take in 'volunteer' English teachers from Singapore, says Anwar

Ravin Palanisamy

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim says the government is considering taking in volunteer teachers to teach English in Malaysia. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, June 14, 2024.

PRIME Minister Anwar Ibrahim today said the government was considering taking in “volunteer” Singaporean teachers to teach English in Malaysia.

He said the proposal he had discussed with his Singaporean counterpart Lawrence Wong was for an assistance scheme.

The volunteers can teach English in the urban poor areas and the interiors of Sabah and Sarawak, he added.

“We’re not hiring English teachers from Singapore. The volunteers will be paid by the Singapore government,” he said.

“I want to build better relations with other countries. We want to be on good terms with Thailand, Singapore, Brunei, and Indonesia – our important neighbours.”

He said the volunteer scheme would be fully funded programme by the Singaporean government. 

“The proposal is like an aid scheme in terms of diplomacy between countries and does not mean that Malaysia wants to hire English teachers from the republic,” said Anwar, who is also the finance minister, today at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre.

On Wednesday, Anwar met with Wong who was visiting Malaysia.

Among the topics they discuess was the possibility of sending Singaporean teachers to Malaysia.

The proposal received brickbats from educators and parent groups, who blamed the government the decline of English proficiency in the country. 

The National Union of Teaching Union supported the government’s wish to address the shortage of English teachers but said the move must not sideline local teachers. – June 14, 2024.

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