My Transfer Is Denied So Share This With An Administrator

Denied Again. But not defeated.
The past 6 years in the jungle have been amazing & I believe that I have proven my worth.
I want to commit all my talent & skills to education in Sarawak because it is where the need for someone like me is greatest (Sarawak is usually at the bottom of national performance rankings.) but my determination is waned & my potential is limited at being confined to the jungle for a 7th year.
I am ambitious & I know that I can do much more with access to an airport, resources, people, internet & mobile connection.
Being denied not only frustrates me, it unsettles me.

Sarawak has an excess of English teachers (most of which are in Kuching & the surrounding districts teaching subjects other than English) so it's harder for me to move WITHIN Sarawak than it is to move OUT of the state.
Excess = very few new postings = not being able to move because there is no replacement for me.
Excess = very few vacancies = joining a waiting list where lots of more 'qualified' people are already waiting. Some for more than 10 years.

I've been a really good teacher transfer-wise.
No matter how tough it got, I rooted myself to my jungle school & gave my best. I only applied for transfer after my FOURTH year and I've never applied for transfer in the middle of the year. I have only applied for transfer at the end of the year because I am committed to my students & the programmes I have planned for the year.
After being left behind by juniors who have been religiously applying for transfers from their first year, I feel like I am being punished for my naivety & my desire to serve.

Boo Hoo!! What a cry baby!!!
Am I being a cry baby? Maybe.
But, consider this:

1. Welfare reasons are accepted. NOT professional ones.
Every year, I state professional reasons for my transfers. See for yourself the screen captures of my transfer applications here: 201420132012My appeal letter was also very professional. This is the reason why I have been denied.

After several unfruitful meetings with the desk officer at the State Education Department, I found out that they are NOT looking for professional reasons. They look for welfare reasons. The better your sob story, the higher your chances.
I do not have a sob story. I don't have a wife & kids waiting for me. I don't have any illnesses. My safety is not jeopardised. So... I'm not high in the priority list.

All I have is an excellent track record & a desire to do more for the state. Apparently, that's not good enough because they already have an excess of English teachers who can do the same.

2. Juniors, who applied for transfer earlier & more often, get it.
I have seen juniors at my school apply for transfer only after a few months of reporting in. They were persistent & aggressive in their applications.
I am now the second youngest English language teacher at my school after a new posting this year. I have seen 4 junior English teachers get transferred WITHIN SARAWAK before me. All with less than 3 years of service. Stab me now.

3. Mid-year applications more successful than year-end ones.
I have put my students & programmes first every year but it is getting very difficult for me to stay committed to an entire year at school because teachers who apply for transfer in the middle of the year get more success than those who apply at the end of the year.
This is because vacancies open up during the first part of the year due to retirements or transfers or promotions or new postings.

4. New teachers are placed in the urban schools.
Some new teachers get posted in urban schools because, when they were posted, there just so happens to be a vacancy there. They have bypassed already posted teachers like myself who have to wait to get in. And yet I have heard many of them complain that they did not get a better location. I'm sorry but this really makes my ears heat up.

5. New teachers who refuse postings can appeal.
There are teachers who appeal after refusing an unfavourable posting. They are then placed into another round of posting. They will probably have to wait 1 or more years to be placed but have a higher probability of a favourable placement.

If you think that I'm giving up, think again.
I am only going to get better & more involved as time goes by.
Geographical limitations will only delay me.
If Sarawak education department is content in keeping me in the jungle & depriving me of opportunities, I'll have to seriously consider whether or not my future lies in teaching with the ministry.
As long as I still have a chance of making a difference & leaving a legacy, I'll stay.
The only difference is, with my location in the jungle, it'll only take longer to achieve my ambitions. But, the journey will be doubly amazing.

Still, I don't want to limit myself to my own means.
Perhaps there are some influential principals/administrators out there who are looking for what I have to offer:
-6 years of experience building up students of average to low English proficiency often breaking school excellence records.
-experience in motivation programmes for SPM & PMR students
-intimate knowledge of the SPM English language papers
-often going above & beyond the call of duty
-collaborating at the local, national & international levels
-involved with ELTC, Examination Syndicate, Matriculation Division & Curriculum Development.

I'm looking for:
-a challenging school that makes other teachers shake in their boots
-For the first time in 6 years, I am willing to consider offers to teach at good schools (not including Girls' Schools/MRSM/SBP)
-freedom & support to initiate programmes at school, state, national & international levels
-freedom & support to continue my involvement with various ministry departments
-freedom & support to travel to schools/conferences for consultations/talks/workshops

Contact me & we'll discuss the possibility a transfer to your school.

If you know of an administrator who might need someone of my capacity, do share this blog post with them.

Meanwhile, I'll continue to make the best of what I have to astounding results just as I have been doing for the past 6 years.
Merry Christmas, everyone!!!


  1. Hey Jikam, I don't know if you remember me. I used to go to TCC with Rachel and Jezzamine. I met you once there. I've just shared this blog post on my Facebook, hopefully it gets someone's attention. At the moment you just have to keep trying and don't give up yet. I once felt the same too. I decided to write my story down not long ago. Here's the link, Merry Christmas!

    1. Hi, Ophelia. Read your story & left a comment.
      I'm really happy for you & I'm glad God gave you the opportunity to be back at the place you want to be.
      I hope that you will make the best of it & be a good steward of His grace.

  2. Merry Christmas. keep trying. What about calling my school principal, Mr Ng Meng Heong(SMK St. Joseph Miri? We are short of three English teachers. His phone no is 0168828937.

    1. Thanks! I'll consider my options before I contact your principal.
      At the moment, I'm looking for a place that's not too far away from my parents in Kuching.

  3. Since I took early retirement in August 2013, two other senior English teachers have retired and another one will be transferred effective 1 Jan 2015. No new English teachers has been posted to SMK Tung Hua Sibu since. All the Best.

    1. Thanks for the heads up.
      2 of Sibu's best schools have offered me a place with them. I'll consider my options before I decide on a final destination.

  4. Koko, would you want to be teaching in an international private school in town?

    1. What has the school got to offer me? I want to innovate & be involved at the highest levels like I am now.
      At the moment, I'm focused on leaving a legacy which will probably take a few more years in government service to complete.

  5. Anonymous11/1/15 19:05

    Pity u.. u r vry ambitious.. but people dont really care as there are many other things to manage.. anyway. Good luck getting transferred. Sometimes what u want wont b thr best thing for u.. what u dislike could be the best for u, or for those u serve

    1. That's the hard truth, isn't it? People really don't care about unknown teachers in the interiors or unknown schools. Just dump teachers there & forget about them.

      I hope you're right, my friend. I really do. I'm putting everything in God's hands & accepting His good will in my life. Whatever it is, I'm going to make the best of everything I've got.

    2. Anonymous11/1/15 22:51

      Good.. anyway, have u got a girlfren?

    3. I find it peculiar that you ask me such a personal question. The answer is yes, I do.

    4. Anonymous12/1/15 23:33

      sorry for being very straight forward like that in online public like this. i just want to know, and now i am happy to know that my senior has gotten a partner! i wish you both happiness and get married soon :)


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