Education: Sabah hopes to be given power soon
Published on: Saturday, September 08, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The State Education and Innovation Ministry is still negotiating with the Federal Education Ministry on the devolution of power to the State on certain education-related matters. Minister Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob hopes it can be settled before end of year, as there is a great need for his Ministry to be able to make own decisions on certain education-related matters in Sabah.

"Although education is under the Federal Government, on certain matters it is better for the decisions to be made by the State Government, through our Ministry, or at the State-level...we just want the decisions made match what we truly need in Sabah," he said.

"In the past there were decisions made at the Federal level that mismatched what Sabah truly needed...meaning what we (in Sabah) needed was different from what was done or decided by the Federal Government," he told reporters after officiating a workshop on Key Performance Index (KPI) for his Ministry at Pacific Sutera, here, Friday. His Assistant Minister Jennifer Lasimbang and the Ministry's Permanent Secretary, Datuk Bruno Vun, among others, were present.

Dr Yusof said if similar situation is allowed to continue, effective solution to education-related problems or issues in Sabah can never be achieved, because the decisions made at the Federal-level were mismatched.

"So if we can arrange for the decision-making to be made by Sabah, like on matters related to education development needs, teaching manpower and services and maintenance of the education infrastructure, definitely we can make the right decision and able to resolve them effectively and as immediately as possible," he said.

"I hope with the devolution of power from the Federal to Sabah and the KPI currently being set for my Ministry, we will be able to see greater and positive changes in the education system and scenario in Sabah," he added.

He said the devolution of power would not involve any changes to the existing education policies but "just certain power in decision-making that needs to be given to Sabah. (But) if the Federal Education Ministry gives us the money and let us decide how we use it would be nice also," he said, in jest.

Meanwhile, Dr Yusof said his Ministry will also strive to have the present Warisan-led State Government and Pakatan Harapan's election manifesto on 90:10 teachers (90 Sabahan teachers to 10 peninsula teachers ratio) realised.

"We have agreed on this ratio already. But of course, the number is quite big as it involves 45,000 teachers in Sabah and will take time," he said.

"We do not oppose the sending of teachers from peninsula to Sabah. We welcome them under the spirit of One Malaysia. But we don't want to see all those peninsula teachers sent to Sabah being fresh graduates.

"They are still inexperienced and will use Sabah as their learning ground. After three or four years, they will go back to peninsula and then a new batch of newly graduated teachers will come," he explained.

"We want peninsula teachers sent to Sabah being of good quality and experienced. Sabah is greatly in need of good and experienced teachers for subjects like English, Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics," he said.


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