Bandar Seri Begawan - The differences in promotion and salary for government school teachers in comparison to other careers was covered during the ongoing Legislative Council (LegCo) meeting yesterday.
Yang Berhormat Awang Hj Ramli bin Hj Lahit highlighted the differences which he described as being very apparent. He used the example that two individuals who possess similar degree qualifications and commence work at the same time in different careers such as a teacher with a B2 salary scale and a civil servant working at a ministry and receives a B3 salary.
He suggested that balance should be pursued as both individuals possess similar qualifications.
The Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister's Office, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahman bin Haji Ibrahim responded by saying there is already a special scheme for teachers that was in 2008 - the Teachers Service Scheme.
The minister explained that there is currently a transition being implemented, where teachers from the old salary scheme are being transferred to the new salary scheme.
As of December 2012, the total number of teachers recommended to be transferred to the new scheme stands at 4,100, of which 2,841 have been transferred so far.
The beauty of the new Teachers Service Scheme is that teachers who are in demand to shoulder certain commitments can be evaluated for promotion to higher positions in schools, the minister explained. The Minister of Finance II added that there are various levels of salary increases in accordance with these special schemes and the overall level of a teachers' skill and expertise.
The Minister of Education, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Kerna Dato Seri Setia (Dr) Haji Awang Abu Bakar bin Haji Apong added to this, saying that the new Teachers Service Scheme enables teachers to enjoy job promotions from B3 to a higher level without being transferred to headquarters, in comparison to what has long been practised before. "This way, we can reward those who have really proven to be successful in their career as teachers," he explained.
Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Imam Dato Paduka Seri Setia Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Hamid bin Bakal then raised the issue of the General Order for examinations among government officers.
The Minister of Finance II said that it is the standard requirement for all B2 government officers to take up the General Order (GO) and Financial Regulation (FR) courses to be undertaken in house, whereas the examinations are open to officers who want to sit for it. The examinations are held six times a year.
The GO and FR examinations are mandatory for administrative, financial, audit and Public Service Department officers.
The minister said a financial incentive of $100 per month will be given for the five years duration to B2 (Division II) officers who pass their GO and FR examinations.
A representative of the Temburong District, Yang Berhormat Awang Hj Sulaiman bin Haji Ahad requested that consideration be made to Divison V government staff and to allow them entitlement to government housing.
He also asked for improvements to be made to tackling very slow last-minute approvals for those who have applied for In-Service Training (LDP) with the aim of furthering their studies abroad. He highlighted that some LDP recipients are informed of their approval a week before the commencement of an academic term, which results very often in orientation and first week lectures being missed completely, regardless of the recipient's submission of LDP forms at an early date.
The Minister of Finance II at the Prime Minister's Office, YB Pehin Orang Kaya Laila Setia Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Abdul Rahrnan bin Haji Ibrahim responded that there is a TPOR in place and that the committee responsible for human resources development must ensure fully that the applications submitted to the Public Services Department fulfill all requirements.
Problems that tend to arise from this process involve staff that fail to complete application forms to the level of detail that is required. For example, often there is no in depth explanation provided for why the individual wishes to study, the level of priority, how the course would benefit the individual and ultimately the department, as well as their basic job description inclusive of daily responsibilities and tasks.
The lack of detail and completed forms belies the seriousness of the individual seeking the opportunity to better themselves and therefore needs to be explained to employees properly via briefings.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin