29/11/2022 11:40 AM

KUCHING, Nov 29 (Bernama) -- Sarawak hopes that the new federal government under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim would consider giving the state autonomy on education.

Sarawak Education, Innovation and Talent Development Minister Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn said the matter 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.

He said even though education falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government, the state government has always placed top priority on education matters.

These are evident through various efforts taken including improving the physical development of schools and continuous professional development programmes for educators, he added. 

On Nov 26, following a meeting with Sarawak Premier Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg, Anwar said the relations between the federal and Sarawak governments would definitely be closer and strengthened under the unity government.

Meanwhile, Sagah said at the moment there are no critical shortages of teachers in Sarawak, however, there are still issues with the placement of teachers due to teaching subject specialisation and family-related matters.

“It is a policy to put spouses together within the same location, we do not want the husband to teach in Lundu, while the wife teaches in Lawas.

“On a similar note, we have achieved the 90:10 ratio of Sarawakian to Non-Sarawakian teachers. We must thank the Ministry of Education for the endeavour to achieve the ratio as aspired by all Sarawakians,” he said.

Sagah also said the construction of the Sarawak Infectious Disease Centre (SIDC) would commence in the first half of 2023 and was expected to be completed within 24 months.