Take back education for Sarawak, Sabah

Saturday, 10 May 2014

As such Sarawak and Sabah must re-take Education autonomy as provided for in Point 15 in the 18/20 Points Agreement..

KUCHING: Sarawak must have a say in how its children are educated and has a right to have the education system fully under its control, said Ba Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian.

“The federal government has made such a mess of our education system.

‘It needs fixing and the state should have a say in how our children are educated.

“Education in Sarawak and Sabah has been on the decline since passing the responsibility over to the federal government,” he said adding that the state must request for a autonomous education system.

He said the system had produced at least two generations of spoon-fed Malaysians who have no ability to apply their minds to critical thinking and analysis.

He pointed out the recent Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) on creative problem solving which ranked Malaysia at the bottom quarter at No.39 out of 44 countries.

The ranking underscored a concern expressed by a senior World Bank economist Dr Frederico Gil Sander in March this year.

Sanders said Malaysians should be alarmed that their children are doing worse in school than children in a Vietnam, a country poorer than Malaysia.

Academics aside, Bian also blamed the Putrajaya-led education system for the apathy, intolerance and shocking behaviour of the current and previous generations.

He was alluding to a surge in racial and religious intolerance in Peninsular where almost all decision-making including issuance of federal agency scholarship and placements in tertiary institutions are done.

Sarawak and Sabah, with a collective over 1.8 million-strong Christian population, have been allegedly victimised on several issues by biased views.

Bian, who is also state PKR chief, said point 15 in the 18/20 point agreement on education allowed Sabah and Sarawak the right to have the education system under their control.

Easing Putrajaya’s load

He further faulted the education system for the embarrassingly poor level of English language proficiency among Malaysians.

Citing the recent MH370 crisis, Bian said a majority of Malaysian leaders and officers were unable to respond cohesively in English to questions from the foreign media.

Meanwhile DAP Piasau assemblyman Alan Ling Sie Kong also called for the state to seize full control of the education system operations.

Ling said the move will lighten the burden of Putrajaya.

He said schools in Sarawak, including the ones in the cities, had a long wait for response and attention to their needs.

This, he said, was “due to the bureaucracy and heavy workload in Putrajaya.”

“A decentralised system in an autonomous state education department will help reduce Putrajaya’s workload,” he said during the State Legislative Assembly sitting yesterday.

He also expressed concerns over the biased views and teachings shared in Peninsular institutions, referring to the recent UiTM controversy where speakers derided Christianity and warned 1,000 attending students and guests of ‘cloaked Muslims” and Christianisation.

In reference to this, Bian a former UiTM student, had issued a statement yesterday saying that education institutions funded by public monies “including money from Christians” should not be used by racist and bigots.

He was of the view that the UiTM incident was part of a “bigger ploy” to destabilize the the country to certain parties to “achieve their own religious and political agendas.”


Post a Comment

Important - The views expressed and the links provided on our comment pages are the personal views of individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Sabah Report.