The first batch of teachers who graduated with their Diplomas this year will be offered a starting salary of RM917 as compared to those who graduated earlier with Teacherís Certificate who were offered a starting salary of RM652. Although the Department has not received any official announcement from the Ministry regarding this new salary scale, non-graduate teachers (DG6) all over the State are now waiting anxiously for the latest update on this issue.
It is without any doubt that the implementation of this new salary scale brings good news to all DG6 teachers. For those whose basic salary is below RM917, their salary will be topped up to the Diploma starting scale whereas those more senior ones whose basic salary is higher than RM917, they will be given one point increment.
How do teachers react to this new development in their service ? Many are pleasantly surprised. Most teachers are dedicated to their job of teaching and educating their students without much complaint. With the new salary scale to be implemented from July 1999, it is another incentive for our teachers to be more committed to their tasks.
A large number of our DG6 teachers are serving in rural areas where facilities are very much lacking as compared to what is available in town areas. It will no doubt be a booster for them to be given a more attractive salary scale. For those who are serving in town areas who have to undergo a lot of stress, battling traffic to and from school among others, the increase is a bonus for them too.
Teachers, (graduates included), earn a fixed income. Unlike some government servants whose duties include fieldwork and so stand a chance to claim some allowance, teachers have no such opportunities. As such, the monetary incentive is a welcomed relief.
Apart from that, some DG6 teachers feel that it is somewhat a moral booster for them that at present, Teachersí Training Colleges offer only Diploma courses. There was a time when those who entered Teachersí Training Colleges did so for want of better job opportunities. Even those with mediocre academic results were accepted into training. For Diploma courses however, selection is more stringent. This will, to some extent, help to raise public respect towards the teaching profession.
Finally, it must be mentioned that the implementation of this new salary scale for DG6 teachers is one way for the authorities to show care for our teachers. Our teachers play such an important role in imparting knowledge to our younger generations to help prepare them to be responsible adults that the well-being of our teachers is a prime concern to those in authority. When teachers are generally happy and satisfied with their work and working environment, they will no doubt contribute much to the noble task of nation building.
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