Re-claim Autonomy in Education For Sabahans’ Future – Dr. Jeffrey
Monday, June 15, 2015
Kota Kinabalu: “HRH the Sultan of Johor has given another reason for the Sabah government to re-claim autonomy in education from the federal government for the sake of Sabahans’ future” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief, noting that the Sultan of Johor has opined that the current education system based on Bahasa Malaysia does not create towering Malaysians and does not contribute towards nation building.
The Sabah government needs to stop the rot in the education standards of Sabahans under the current federal-controlled education system.
In many instances, people will talk and discuss to agree on a “win-win” situation. Unfortunately, in the case of education for Sabahans, they are in a “lose-lose-lose” downward spiral. They lose when compared in the Malay language where the Malays from Malaya are better equipped; they lose when compared in English and they also lose in their mother tongues whether it is Kadazandusun, Murut, Rungus, Bajau, Suluk, Bisaya or other native languages.
In the 2013 and 2014 STPM and SPM results nationwide, Sabah fared last amongst the 13 States and 3 federal territories. In fact, the 2014 results for Sabah was much worse than the 2013 results.
The students performance are further affected and eroded by the education administration where almost everything is decided in Putrajaya.
In terms of funds, their allocations do not get priority and this shortcoming is clearly reflected with the number of dilapidated schools across the whole of Sabah. There are many schools not re-built, classes with no classroom walls, students being made to study under makeshift tents, and many non-functioning laboratories and computer classes which are in a mess due to failures of the construction and supply contracts awarded by Putrajaya, mainly with contractors from Malaya.
Even promises of allocations for school repairs remain as empty promises with no real intention of fulfilment. This was evident with the RM1.0 billion allocation promised by none other than the DPM cum Minister of Education in Lundu, Sarawak, on 14 February 2014 for repairs of the 600 dilapidated schools in Sabah and Sarawak. It seems that only RM15.4 million was disbursed to Sabah and it is not known whether it was part of the RM1.0 billion allocation.
“I will personally send a request to DPM Muhyiddin for this RM1.0 billion and remind him to send this school repairs allocation so that students in Sabah and Sarawak are not made to suffer due to the default of the federal government” added Dr. Jeffrey.
Things are made worse when the federal policy is essentially tailored to make Malaysians think less laterally and does not enhance intelligence with indoctrination on Umno’s brand of race and religion politics. This is evident to HRH the Sultan himself who has chided the government Ministers for sending their children overseas rather than study in local schools.
The Sarawak CM has openly requested for autonomy including in Sarawak education and PM Najib has agreed to the request with a devolution of power to the Sarawak government. The federal Ministry and agencies have been asked by the PM to look into this devolution of power.
Likewise, for the sake of Sabahans’ future, the Sabah government should request for education to be devolved to the Sabah government. With the right education system, and manned mainly by Sabahans as teachers and administrators, there is no reason why Sabah cannot advance on its own. This can be seen from towering Sabahans currently spread out globally even in UK, USA and Canada, that were products of the old Sabah education system inherited from the British. It should not be forgotten that the British education system is still one of the best in the world.
With control of the Sabah education system, the destiny and future of Sabahans will be charted by Sabahans not by Malayans where the present system is already a proven failure.
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