KUALA LUMPUR: Chinese schools only got slightly more than half the teachers they require this year.
"I want to appeal to Chinese youths to take up the offer," said Deputy Education Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong, who is also the MCA Youth secretary-general.
He said the shortage of applicants could be due to misconceptions about working conditions in the civil service.
"It is actually a pretty lucrative job. For graduate teachers, their first pay cheque can come up to about RM2,500, not including allowances and benefits, which is higher than a lot of industries," he said after the Youth wing's central committee meeting.
Government-aided schools in the country are made up of about 880 Chinese schools, 56 Tamil schools, 500 religious schools and 100 mission schools.
For the Mid-Term Review, these schools received an injection of RM50 million for infrastructure upgrades, repairs and maintenance.
"That is not enough. For adequate coverage, we would need at least two or three times more money.
"Education must never be neglected or swept aside, no matter what the circumstances are."
On speculation that party president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting would not be contesting in the upcoming party elections, Liow said the Youth wing would back Ong no matter what his decision was.
"Ong has been working hard to reform the party since the last general election. We support our president no matter what."
The New Straits Times Online: 29 Jun 2008