The government remains committed in enhancing the education system in the state through upgrading of its services and facilities.
According to Ministry of Education (MOE) secretary-general Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad, the government has allocated RM4.6 billion for the management and administration of the education sector in Sarawak this year covering 1,453 schools, 473,000 students and 53,900 MOE personnel across the state.
This figure is under the total of RM43 billion set aside this year’s budget for the education sector in Malaysia – among the highest allocations given by the government to its ministries.
“This goes to show that the government remains highly concerned about education in Malaysia, despite the economic downturn.
“In addition, the government has also agreed to upgrade more than 300 schools in Sarawak that are using generator sets, for them to shift to using the solar panel system,” Alias said in a speech during a recent dinner hosted by Assistant Minister for Tourism Datuk Lee Kim Shin here, where the guests comprised principals and headmasters of schools across the city.
Alias stressed that irrespective of issues being discussed at school meetings, forums or blogs, the MOE would always be ready to tackle the challenges in striving towards providing quality education to the public.
“When the government introduced the 1BestariNet, the objective was to transform the Malaysian education. One of the ways is to bridge the digital divide between rural and urban students via Internet-enabled education that is accessible to all Malaysians.
“This government initiative would make Malaysia the first country in the world to make 4G mobile Internet access and a VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) available to all schools across the nation,” he said.
On claims that the teachers training institutes (IPGs) here would be closed, Alias said there would be no closure; instead, these institutions would undergo transformation.
“Nine out of the 27 IPGs nationwide will be converted into vocational colleges or polytechnics in accordance with the requirements of Technical and Vocational Training (TVET), while two campuses will become the ‘Permata Centre’ – namely IPG Raja Melewar in Negeri Sembilan and IPG Tuanku Bainun in Penang.”
Alias said the focus on TVET was crucial in that Malaysia was still lacking technical and skilled workers.
“Having said this, I hope everyone would have an open mind and be positive so that our education system would remain relevant in the future,” he said, assuring all that 16 IPGs across the country would run as usual to accommodate the new intake of the Bachelor of Education programme.
On another matter, Alias announced that state Education Department director’s position would be upgraded from the Public Service Key Post (Jusa) C to Jusa B.
On the state education’s ‘90:10 Policy’ (ratio of nine local Sarawakian teachers to one non-Sarawakian teacher at schools in Sarawak), he said as far as Sarawak was concerned, 88 per cent those teaching in the state were local teachers. Alias also announced that out of the 14 new schools approved for this year, eight would be established in Sarawak.
“This again proves that the government remains focused on education development in Sarawak,” he said.
Prior to the dinner, Alias and his entourage from MOE visited schools here and some in Bakong, where he acknowledged that there were a number of things that needed to be improved.
Source : Zaheera Johari @ Borneo Post Online