KUCHING: The government will be assertive in its push for better education policies amidst calls for improvement on sub-standard schooling facilities across the state.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem said the state will no longer tolerate the lack of urgency or concern from Putrajaya to improve schools particularly in the rural areas. He added that the government will continue to push for reform on policies affecting the state as it strives to improve education standards.
While the state abides by the nation’s education policies, being the purview of the federal government, the Chief Minister said it will not keep quiet on issues affecting growth of education standards in Sarawak.
Although he agreed on the importance of a uniformed policy to promote unity across the nation, he reminded that adversity must be heard so that the peninsula would appreciate the state’s way of doing things.
“The state government is trying to change some aspects of education policy in Sarawak. We can’t simply follow what is dictated by Putrajaya because uniformity does not necessarily mean unity.
“We have pushed for more Sarawakian teachers to serve in schools here. Other education policies the state is pushing for include the building of standard quality schools. I’m sick and tired of appealing to the federal government to make better schools in Sarawak,” he said when launching the Dayak Cultural Foundation’s (DCF) Comprehensive Iban-English Dictionary at Hilton Hotel here yesterday.
Adenan expressed his displeasure that many schools in the state were still without clean water and electricity supply. He also expressed annoyance on hearing about a school which ‘fell into the river’ as well as the one that was razed by fire on the eve of the Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination last weekend.
The Chief Minister was making references to the landslip incident on June 9 at Spaoh, Betong, which caused a school nursery and the surau of SK Kampung Buda to be swept into the nearby river, as well as the SK Bario fire incident which affected 89 pupils including 16 who would be sitting for the UPSR exam.
“I’m sick and tired of hearing about schools that ‘jumped’ into the river, schools with no water supply, schools without electricity and those that got burnt. If we are left behind by 10 to 20 years, I can still understand but if we are behind by half a century, I can’t tolerate that anymore. We must be assertive in our (education) policy on this matter,” he continued.
Deputy Chief Minister and DCF chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, former DCF chairman Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang and the foundation’s managing trustee Tan Sri Datuk Amar Leonard Linggi Jugah were also present.