KUCHING: Sarawak hopes the new federal government under Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim will consider giving the state autonomy on education.
Sarawak education, innovation and talent development minister Roland Sagah Wee Inn said this should be given due consideration as it was the aspiration of all Sarawakians.
“The autonomy, if granted, shall include matters of policy and execution. However, the federal government shall continue to provide the required funding,” he told the Sarawak state assembly in his winding-up speech on the state’s budget for next year.
Although education currently falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government, he said, the state government had always placed top priority on the sector.
This was evident through the various efforts taken by the state, including improving the physical development of schools, and continuous professional development programmes for educators.
On Nov 26, following a meeting with Sarawak premier Abang Johari Openg, Anwar said relations between the federal and Sarawak governments would be closer and strengthened under the unity government.
Sagah also said there were no critical shortage of teachers in Sarawak at the moment. However, there were still issues with the placement of teachers because of teaching subject specialisation and family-related matters.
“It is our policy to put spouses within the same location. We do not want the husband to teach in Lundu, while the wife teaches in Lawas,” he said.
He said Sarawak has achieved the 90:10 ratio of Sarawakian to non-Sarawakian teachers, and thanked the education ministry for the endeavour to achieve the ratio as aspired by all Sarawakians.
Sagah also said the construction of the Sarawak Infectious Disease Centre would commence in the first half of 2023 and was expected to be completed within 24 months.