PETALING JAYA: Putrajaya’s failure to consult Sarawak on the closure of three teachers’ training colleges in the state shows that the Federal Government is oblivious to Sarawak’s education aspirations, according to an analyst.
Speaking to FMT, Universiti Malaya Political Analyst Associate Professor Awang Azman Pawi said Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem has to be firm in addressing this matter as it is bound to raise the ire of Sarawakians.
“If this issue is not resolved by the Sarawak government, it could lead to protest votes in the coming General Elections,” said Awang Azman.
He was commenting on Sarawak state Minister for Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Fatimah Abdullah’s lament of not being consulted on the closure of the teachers’ training colleges. Fatimah also oversees education in Sarawak.
Awang Azman said that Putrajaya’s lack of consultation also showed that it held total control over education matters in Sabah and Sarawak, even as Sarawak seeks more autonomy in education.
He added that if the Sarawak government did not step in, then its target of having 90 percent local teachers in the state by 2018 will not be met.
Yesterday, Fatimah also said that Sarawak was in danger of not achieving the target after it was announced that colleges in Miri, Rejang and Samarahan would be closed, leaving IPG Batu Lintang as the only full-fledged teachers’ training college in the state.
Sarawak Teachers’ Union president Jisin Nyuk also voiced concern over the issue, saying Sarawak did not have enough IPGs as it is.
One teachers’ training college, he added, would not be enough for Sarawak and urged Putrajaya to abort the plan to close down the colleges.