MESTR refutes UKM don’s claim international schools must use national syllabus

School books. — file pic. // Photo: Pixabay

KUCHING, Oct 5: Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research (MESTR) Sarawak welcomes concerned experts including Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Professor Teo Kok Seong for a discussion on the state’s education system.

“The state government is very concerned on the performance of our students which is behind the national average and is happy to discuss with anyone having the required expertise and the correct facts, to help improve our education system,” MESTR highlighted in a statement.

Extending its invitation Teo, the ministry said it would most willingly answer any further inquiries to improve the performance of the state-owned international schools that are expected to be operational in three years’ time.

This is in response to Teo’s previous statement that the Yayasan Sarawak International Secondary Schools are counter to the Education Act 1996 if the national curriculum is not followed.

Teo has described the schools’ operator, Sanjung Services Sdn Bhd which is a subsidiary of Yayasan Sarawak, as a statutory body under the state government, and thus any school owned by it would therefore be a government school.

In reply, MESTR asserted that Sanjung Services Sdn Bhd is not a statutory body but a private company incorporated under the Companies Act 2016.

“On the other hand, Yayasan Sarawak is a statutory body established under an ordinance enacted by State Legislature. Thus, Sanjung Services Sdn Bhd and Yayasan Sarawak are separate legal entities,” it explained in its statement today.

While the Education Act 1996 defines “government educational institution” as those established and fully maintained by the government, the establishment of international schools by Sanjung Services Sdn Bhd, therefore, does not make the schools government schools, it asserted.

Since state-owned international schools are not “government-owned schools”, the ministry highlighted Section 15 of Education Act 1996 states that international schools are exempted from the national education system and as such are not required to implement the national curriculum. — DayakDaily