Minister clarifies S’wak not demanding full autonomy in education

Sagah delivering his address at the DUS sitting on May 13, 2024.

By Marlynda Meraw

KUCHING, May 13: Sarawak Minister of Education, Innovation and Talent Development (MEITD) Dato Sri Roland Sagah Wee Inn clarifies that Sarawak is not demanding full autonomy in education.

Sagah explained that Sarawak is actually demanding the devolution and decentralisation of education, while the demand for full autonomy has not yet been pursued.


“For now, we are not demanding full autonomy as education is a federal matter and when the needs arise at a later stage, we may revisit the demand for autonomy,” he said during the sixth day of the current Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUS) sitting here today.

Meanwhile, in addressing the issue of dilapidated school buildings, Sagah stated that the Sarawak government has proposed a new funding and implementation mechanism to the federal government in which repairing the schools would be initially financed by the Sarawak government which would later be reimbursed by the federal government.

According to Sagah, the proposal was made known by Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg to Prime Minister Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim on March 30, 2024, to which currently both Sarawak and federal governments are working on the details of the arrangement.

Representatives from the Implementation Coordination Unit (ICU) of the Prime Minister’s Department, MEITD, Sarawak Education Department (JPNS), Sarawak Public Works Department (JKR), and other Sarawak government departments and agencies are conducting site visits to eight schools to assess the requirements for repair projects.

“The selected schools are SMK Agama, Sibu; SK Batu Lintang, Sri Aman; SK Muhibbah, Kuching; SK Sungai Bulu Senangeh, Asajaya; SK Gumpey, Gedong; SK Pelaman Sidunuk, Serian; SK Patung, Serian; and SK Rambungan, Lundu,” said Sagah.

He also highlighted issues involving SK Batang Lassa and SK Sungai Bulu Senangeh which are in unsafe conditions, SK Merakai and SK Lebor Remun which require treated water supply, and repair work for SK Abang Leman which is critically delayed.

Other issues touched on the redevelopment and relocation of schools, namely SK Long Bemang, Sg Apoh; SK Tebakang, SK Sri Sadong, Serian; SMK Julau and SMK Julau 2, Sarikei; and SMK Saratok, Saratok.

“Requests for construction of new schools were made for SMK Goram, Kapit; SMK Serian No. 2, Serian; and another secondary school in Nanga Budu Sub-district, Ulu Krian,” said Sagah during his winding-up speech. —DayakDaily