Monday, June 27, 2011

Starting salary of teacher in Malaysia

A common trained graduate teacher in Malaysia receives RM2777.20 (including allowances) per month. The salary scale of this government post is referred as DG41.

It's an open secret that many graduates in Malaysia opt to become a teacher in government schools. Simply because the hours are short (have you ever seen your teachers during co-curricular activities? Too few good ones who really care), the optional part time job (we all know about it) is too tempting, only talking in classes is required (stress? what job stress?), many many off days (school holidays, people). I can go on and on but what's the point?

It's no brainer when we're talking about who are (or is) our favourite teacher(s). It's not surprising when one read about an ex-student remembering only one name of all teachers who ever taught him.

So, when I read The Star on "Union seeks teachers' scheme improvement", I felt embarrassed. What had these teachers done to have salary increments? The simplest solution is to have the students do their teachers' performance appraisals. Surely, we, the students, know best about the cikgu's works.

Afterall, the phrase "Buat kerja sendiri" has been used more often in class than "Sarang Hae You" song download on YouTube per day.


  1. Im sorry.. I cant help myself to interfere in ur blog...

    As a teacher myself.. I think this post is really breaking my heart.. But at least we know what the public is thinking about teachers..

    Just to put a bit of facts.. ( I dunno how many teachers out there do the same as me or my school)

    Yes some people might think teachers work half-day.. but no one knows that the morning sessions teachers (for my school starts at 6.40, ends at 1pm.. some have to finish at 2pm) sometimes have to come for meeting in the afternoon, or have extra class with the students in the afternoon.. Co-curricular.. for my school.. its a must for the teachers to attend to supervise the students in the activities.. Disciplinary actions will be carried out if the teachers fail to do so.. While other government servants having their weekends off with their families, we teachers have to sacrifice it for 'Sekolah Gantian', school camps, meetings, PTA activities.. if its exams week... we have to sacrifice our weekends and also 'night off'.. just to make sure we meet our deadline to give report card to the principle.. while others having their 30days annual leave.. some of us teacher have to sacrifice our year end holiday to supervise in the public exam (SPM n STPM)..

    Job stress..? Teachers not only just do the talking in class... Im sorry if anyone experience the "buat kerja sendiri" situation.. but, in my school.. even if its exam's week... we are not allowed to let the students to do own revision in class.. the teacher however have to teach.. we are very much 'pressured' by the demands of the public to make sure their sons/daughters perform well in school.. to make sure there's no disciplines cases in school.. to make sure the schools produce 100% pass in their subjects.. to carry out plans suggested by the government... but yeah.. i understand.. only teachers understand what the teachers do..

    The education system nowadays is not the same as what we had 10 years back.. I was also a student.. in my days.. I thought the same way as some people think.. Being a teacher is the most easy job, no stress, big income and lots of holidays.. But now, being a teacher.. what I thought is very much different from the reality(of course I have not regretted coz I love being a teacher)

    We're not asking much.. just a bit review on our salary... Teachers can't claim overtime.. even though we spent our time in school more than other government servants in their office.. hehe.. And, there's other department had their salary being review almost every year..

    Again.. I'm sorry for interrupting.. I can't deny that there maybe 'bad' teacher somewhere.. same as other profession.. just please don't conclude it all.. coz it may hurt the feelings of teachers that are sincere in their profession..

    Thank you.

  2. Dear Anonymous,

    First of all, thank you for visiting my blog. I appreciate your constructive feedback. God has been very good to me by letting me be a guru sandaran in a government primary school and two secondary schools throughout my life. You can say that I gave up luxurious life in Singapore to become a teacher in our Bolehland. I feel for the souls of many teachers in Malaysia.

    I'm sure many teachers will attempt to sabotage my blog but let's put things straight.

    1. A teacher doesn't go into classes from 6.40am to 2.00pm. He or she should do administrative works during breaks. How many meetings a teacher has in a year? How many hours are spent wisely? A government servant works from 8am to 5pm. We can't go to banks, government offices.. A teacher has 5 afternoons in a week to settle his matters. Let's not talk about long school holidays.

    2. Sacrifice year end holiday to supervise STPM or SPM? A teacher is paid to do so. Period. I said before, let's not talk about long school holidays.

    3. During exam week, teachers are not allowed to let students do their own revision? Of course lah, else you want to sit in the class and wait for students to ask you questions?

    4. We are pressured by the demands of the public? Huh? If teachers are doing their jobs correctly, why should one have to feel inferiorly? If you are not comfortable doing a teacher's job, how do you expect the students be confident with you?

    By the way, how many of your students will invite you to their weddings in 15 years to come? You're sure?!

  3. well if you feel that teacher's life is so easy, why dont you try it yourself....? In fact, you gain ot for doing work in office...while teacher will have to prepare alot for the next day lesson.Do you think that by spending 5 minutes is already enough for 1 subject?How many subjects does a teacher normally handle? Then, because of so many successful people nowadays, including those who are talking here, the kids become so "clever" to use a variety of techniques to "play" with the teacher.
    Break this...break that...forget to bring this...bring that...walk here....walk there...All of these, really "help" the teachers and make their works more "effective"! These are the kids of nowadays "successful people". Teachers are really "impressed" with the ways taught how to behave by their parents.Be considerate please...

  4. personally, i think that you are egoistic, it seems to me like, you happen to see one small slice of a big big cake and have come to announce that yeah, everyone's like that and that's how things are.

    you made your point. some are solid. hands down.

    you had been a temporary teacher. yes. plenty of us had. i had been one myself. and let me tell you something, being a teacher for one year or two doesn't even come close to being a teacher, at all.

    i have teachers that i kept close to my heart, and it is so terribly unjust and heartbreaking to see these good teachers being judged because you chose to see from your perspective. and yes, i will invite so many of those teachers to come to my wedding dinner. good ones bad ones whatever. because they were in my life, and their presence made the difference.

    the anonymous teacher have been far too polite in his/her reply. you have no right to judge a teacher when you are not one. it is plain rude.

    this is your blog. you get your say. but i do hope i sent my point across. not trying to judge you.

    good day!

  5. First, if you leave a comment, do leave your real name. Else, I'm replying to God-knows-who. As if I'm teaching to a 'difficult' class.

    "well if you feel that teacher's life is so easy, why dont you try it yourself" Being a teacher is not simply cuba-cuba. It's a passion. I want to be a teacher but there wasn't any KPLI offered. I waited for a year. So, I end up working for the Health Ministry.

    Understanding students' psychology is a part of teacher's job description. So, stop whining. And being a teacher, one must constantly updating one's knowledge. Any government officer's salary starting with salary scale 41 cannot claim overtime (OT).Don't simply say
    "In fact, you gain ot for doing work in office"

    Good teachers are rare. The whole idea is teacher's salary is good enough. A teacher must show his/her capability. Not asking for more raise every now and then. All the comments are defensive in nature. Show me some of your inspiring stories, dear teachers. Please. tell me that your students will never forget your teachings. That every period spent in the class are truly worth every efforts.

    Oh! I forgot. You can't tell me any, can you?

  6. Dear goverment servants,
    I would like to say majority(>90%) of u r overpaid. Even the working hr set as 8-5, the actual working hr is shown below:
    8-9am breakfast
    9-10.30am working
    10.30-11.30am minum
    11.30-12.00 working
    12-2pm lunch
    2-3pm working
    3-4pm hi-tea
    4-5 working
    Total actual working hr = 4hrs per day

    Even i am not contribute much to tax, maybe my contribution coincidently into the king/queen of snake's pocket, then sure i wil shout at government servants, coz all of u r "1 Malaysia".
    However,we reali appreciate of u ppl contribution,coz of u ppl lot "minum period",then our market can move even at high inflation period. U ppl enjoy pension in future, we r not,we nid to do proper planning.

    Actuali Najib can c his slogan"1M" quite successful in government sector, majority at "same pace", "same attitude", no matter who u r...

    Private sector

  7. oh my goodness, you are really unbelievable. i love my teachers. all of them. those who don't feel so are either thinking that they are self-made genius (who forgot about gratitude) or they had really bad experiences with teachers.

    i bet you are from the second category?

    as far as your statement goes, it is a little unfair to condemn all for some (even if the some may refer to a majority), don't you think?

    Sharon, Kuching.

  8. Dear Sharon,

    Self-made genius I am not, I must say. Bad experiences with teachers? You bet. Every single study days. The majority of teachers are not in the schools inspiring students. They are merely teaching as instructed. I don't feel like watching any History Channel's programme when listening to my Sejarah's lessons. I feel sleepy. Malay Language? If it's taught as beautiful as English, maybe so. Then again, many of my English teachers are not worth mentioning anyway. Other subjects? You get the drift. But if you're enjoying your lessons, please share some of your experiences. please.

    Simply, if we can at least even regard the teaching profession as noble as it was in the 70s, let's talk more. For now, being a teacher is all about money, money and more money (As stated by the first commentator,
    We're not asking much.. just a bit review on our salary)

  9. stay tuned then for the Teach for Malaysia program=) changes is coming for the education system of Malaysia!

    May the Lord bless this land!

  10. Anthony, I tend to agree with you.

    I have a so-called best friend whom I know for over 50 years since primary school days. He was always top of the class but somehow ended up as a teacher.

    He is not a graduate but teaches in a secondary school.

    I cannot say whether he is a good or bad teacher as I am not inside his class 24x7 to see how he teaches, but I do know that he earns many thousands of ringgit giving private tuition.

    Now, common sense will tell you that when a teacher earns so much money probably giving his best (otherwise how could he attract so many students to his big private tuition centre?) to his tuition classes, why didn't he do the same for his regular students?

    I believe if a teacher is diligent and dedicated, there is no need for more tuition. The trouble is and I have observed this for a long time, many teachers teach half-heartedly in school - some don't even mark their students' work but leave it to students to do their own marking - like robots.

    These black sheep teachers (and my friend is one of them), are more interested in making money. No wonder this teacher friend of mine keeps on changing brand new cars.

    The Education Ministry is at fault. They should not even allow teachers to work part-time. If they feel their income is insufficient for their lifestyle, then quit.

    Why then do they continue working as teachers in schools? I suspect it is partly to "fish" for students to attend their huge tuition centres where the big bucks are!!

  11. never compare machines or papers to students. i worked in a private firm for 5 years as an engineer before taking a teaching job.compared to working in a private firm, teaching job is fun though i teach in classes full of students who come from broken families. nobody threatened to beat me when i was working in the private firm but here on the first day i was threatened and punched but i manage to continue and now after 7 years i can control these students and teach them.

  12. if u feel teachers nowadays are really bad, hopeless or useless i can give u the best suggestion. since you are the smartest, the best father or mother, don't send ur kids to school. solve all ur headache and there'll be no frustration.

  13. haha.really agree with 'just me'.i think a lot of people would like to call you(anthoony) a LOSER.

  14. I believe Anthony try to be a deviant to seek attention, especially from Teacher. I wish to end this with the following video:

    Good luck in your life for you who show no respect to other profession.

  15. I think no 1 at fault here. The author of this blog had bad experience wit teachers bcoz he met none good ones. Forgive him

  16. I am a teacher now. Before that i was an engineer. I also had experience to work as a chemist before. I tried many professions. What i want to say is, there's no easy job in this world, if you say being a teacher is very relax and easy, that means there's no brain in your head, you can just shut up and go to sleep. But if you say that a teacher in government school is too busy and has too much work, I just want to say, you receive your salary, then you have to commit yourself and do your best. Every job has its difficulty, but surely if you do your best, you still can produce effective results. I teach 5 subjects in a private secondary school, much tougher than a teacher in a government school.

  17. anthony, why r u against teachers? Psychologically, i believe u did not enjoy school life, you hated the language like what u said-history wasn't taught in English hence it ended up with u hating the teacher and then the teacher. u were the one with this problem but u put the blame on teachers. What exactly is A TEACHER'S JOB TO YOU that you seem to pour so much hatred against? And can u specify which profession deserves to be paid well?

  18. Anthony, you are a dumb ass! Of all the professions you could have attack, you choose the teaching profession. Look around you, hell, look around the world. Teachers are some of the lowest paid professional in most countries. This includes the western countries. It is true that not all teachers are good, but not all are bad. The same can be said for students. Think of it this way. A teacher must have taught you something because you're able to write in English well enough for others to read. Teaching is a diffcult thing to do in modern time with all of the distractions many students are privy to. So, do teachers deserve a pay raise? It wouldn't be wrong! They have to eat as well, not to mention providing for his or her family. Lets face it the salary in Malaysia is very disporportional in most profession. Think about it, 1USD is about 3MYR (not bad), but the pay in Malaysia can't even come close to other developed countries. For example, teachers in my home state makes between 40k to 45k (USD) a year start, while Malaysian teachers makes, if their lucky, 2000MYR per month starting pay. That's what? 24k per year? With a 1 and 3 exchange rate Malaysians should at the very least make 40 to 45k MYR per year. This affects everyone in every sector. Anthony, you need to reevaluate yourself. Lastly, if you think you're one of those people that makes money blogging, think again. An educated person writes and speaks with clear thoughts and you are far from that. Keep blogging you'll improve, if not find a teacher for guidance. I also wanted to comment on what you said regarging teaching the Malay language as beautiful as the English language. You are one of those Asians that praise the west and devalue the Asian cultures and languages. Every language is beautiful it's the practioners that must know how to make it so. Indeed the English language is beautiful, but so are the many different Asian languages including your mother tongue.