I hadn't planned on commenting on this situation until our respected MCA President, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting (OKT) decided to play up the victory. In an article in TheStar today, OKT commented that accepting school-leavers from Chinese independent schools into teacher-training institutes is a win-win situation. So, I wondered, win-win for whom? OKT elaborates further, saying that
- This will not only increase the number of teachers but also give a chance for the Chinese independent school-leavers to serve the country.
- The party welcomed the decision as it recognised the contributions of the Chinese independent schools.
- The party's Youth wing would co-operate with the Education Ministry to ensure that it was carried out smoothly and successfully.
- They agreed in principle to take these students in and are now working out the conditions of entry with the teacher-training institutes.
- They cannot take these teachers from vernacular schools and it may not be suitable to take in teachers from China for this purpose.
- These teachers would be placed at the schools on a contract basis because this was a new scheme.
However, the biggest blotch on the picture is that these teachers will be contract staff instead of being admitted directly into the teaching service. In other words, they are not admitted as full staff and are not entitled to the benefits of being a contributing member to the school. Neither will they gain the necessary protections that are given to full employees under the law. The most important of these being that they can be given the sack at pretty much anytime.
So, now I see how it's a win-win situation for all. The MCA can tell people that the government now hires people from these schools. Then, UMNO can tell people that these people aren't employed by the government as they do not enjoy any employee benefits and can be sacked at any time. This is seriously idiotic political double talk, if you ask me.