Malaysiakini Letter

Good enough for Australia, but not here

Anucia Chacko  |  Published:  |  Modified:

I am a student almost completing a graduate diploma in education at the University of Western Australia and have been very much looking forward to serving the country.

I completed my undergraduate science degree at USM, Penang and opted for an internationally recognised teaching qualification for job-security purposes. Before I go any further, I would like to apologise if this letter comes across as emotionally-driven.

I recently applied online at the education ministry’s website for the ‘Guru Sandaran Terlatih’ position and have been regularly checking the site for updates. This because getting through to a person to whom I could speak to about my circumstances has proved to be very hard.

I managed to speak to an officer from the ministry last week and he informed me that the route to a permanent post is via the same route, ie, initial probationary period subject to confirmation, and that it was the same for teaching students from both public and private colleges.

He, however, could not offer me more information and suggested I call back at another time.

Today, I spoke to someone else in the office about the process and she told me that I would need my qualifications recognised by the JPA before I could be granted an interview. She did not know what should be done after obtaining the JPA recognition.

Anyway, I duly called JPA and was curtly told that my Australian qualification was not recognised, never mind that it is internationally-recognised. I was too distraught to proceed with further questions like where do I go from here, etc.

I do not mean to sound pompous, but my practical reports and academic results have been outstanding and I have even been offered a teaching position overseas. I, however, declined because I wanted to come home to serve my country.

To be presented with such news is disappointing and shocking among other things. I guess I can still apply to local private schools but my desire is to make a positive difference in the public education system – a system that I am proudly a product of.

Now I need to figure out what to tell my parents who have funded this course with their life savings. I know I will be faulted for not finding out about local recognition before enrolling but really, who would have thought that an internationally-recognised qualification is not recognised in Malaysia?

Which part of 'international' does Malaysia not fall under?

Needless to say I am disillusioned and extremely disappointed that my qualifications and big dreams have no place in Malaysia. Do we even need to wonder why young people are forced out of their own country?

What next? I really don’t know.

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