Empowering Female Teachers’ Roles in Promoting Multiculturalism in Malaysia

Author: Khairul Aini Mohamed Jiri (Ministry of Education Malaysia)
Speaker: Khairul Aini Mohamed Jiri
Topic: Language, gender, sexuality
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2019 General Session


Malaysia is a multicultural and multilingual country consisted of three main different races namely the Malay, Chinese and Indians. Other than that this country is also inhabited by people from other races such as the indigenous people in Peninsular Malaysia as well as in Borneo Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak). Islam is the national religion of this country. Even so, it does not prohibit the other races to practice their own religious beliefs and cultures. This diversity acquires the country to put the matter of racial harmony and integration at its upmost concern. One place that commonly cited as a conducive venue to inculcate racial integration among Malaysia diverse population is school. In Malaysia, female teachers dominated the profession where in 2011, out of 408,764 overall number of teachers in Malaysia, 282,314 teachers are female as compares to 126,450 of male teachers (Ministry of Education Malaysia, 2011). This paper is an attempt to focus the lens to the Asian perspective on how female teachers’ voice and role can be utilized and benefitted in promoting multiculturalism in Malaysia with some considerations put on the unique cultural, societal norms and expectation of the Malaysian society towards education . My analysis of the topic will be carried out with three purposes in mind: first, to discuss the standard of education among female in Malaysia, second to trace the development of teaching profession among women in Malaysia. I concluded the paper by proposing an empowerment of the female teachers’ voice in school in promoting multiculturalism in Malaysia.

Keywords: Malaysia, female teachers, multiculturalism