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INTRODUCTION

Teacher education programme in Malaysia has been traditionally entrusted in the hand of public institutions of higher learning. Presently the public institutions that participate in this programme include Universiti Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Universiti Teknologi Mara, and Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia. As each and everyone of these institutions is autonomous, there is therefore an urgent need to create a mechanism to bring all the institutions together in handling the teacher education issues. This realization resulted in a joint initiative by the institutions concerned to create The Council of Education Deans to function as a forum for co-ordination, co-operation, standardization, and exchange of ideas and expertise  in areas related to teacher education. The council membership is exclusively for the incumbent Deans of Education of these institutions. However, there is a provision that allows the Council to co-opt a senior executive of the Teacher Education Division, Ministry of Education, as it is generally acknowledged that significant input and support to the Council effort must come from the Ministry.

A precursor of co-ordination and co-operation effort in teacher education was originated by public institutions of higher learning in Klang Valley area in early 1970s. The upgrading of The College of Agriculture, Serdang, to Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (later renamed Universiti Putra Malaysia) and The Technical College, Kuala Lumpur, to Institut Teknologi Kebangsaan (later renamed Universiti Teknologi Malaysia) in 1972 afforded the Ministry of Education an opportunity to increase the output of science and technical teachers at these institutions. At this stage UPM and UTM were greatly helped by the Teacher Training Division, Ministry of Education, and the Technical Teacher Training College, Kuala Lumpur. Together they forged an effective inter-institutional co-operative endeavor in pre-professional training of teachers. By the middle of 1970s all universities in the Klang Valley, namely Universiti Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, and Universiti Pertanian Malaysia had created a network to co-ordinate the conduct of  teaching practicum for a fairly large number of their teacher trainees. Hence the Inter-University Teaching Practicum Committee was formed. In the ensuing years the scope of co-operation was broadened  to include  professionalism in teaching and brought together all public universities which offer teacher education programme into the grouping. This latter grouping was known as the Inter-University Teacher Education Committee. At around the same time the Ministry of Education intensified effort to supply graduate teachers to secondary schools. It was planned that eventually the whole teaching service admits only graduate teachers to teach in secondary and primary schools throughout the country.  Invariably this called for close co-operation between the universities and the Ministry over a wide ranging issues requiring policy decision and implementation. This was reflected through the appointment of a number of representatives from the public universities in the National Advisory and Consultative Committee on Teacher Education.


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