By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Nov 24: The operating cost to run Sarawak’s education is a whopping RM4.7 billion, which is 50 per cent of Sarawak’s annual budget.
Unveiling this, Education, Innovation, and Talent Development Deputy Minister Datuk Dr Annuar Rapaee also raised the pertinent question of whether the Federal government will provide the funds for Sarawak should education be devolved to the State.
“To run education in Sarawak, it needs RM4.7 billion for operational cost only, minus (expenditure for) development. It is almost 50 per cent of the State budget.
“And therefore, if we were to be given autonomy, would this also be given to us?” Dr Annuar asked when answering a question raised by Kota Sentosa assemblyman Wilfred Yap (GPS-SUPP) on the devolution of education to Sarawak in the Question and Answer session at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) today.
Following his own question, Dr Annuar provided the answer, stating that it is the obligation of the Federal government to provide education for Sarawak.
“Keep in mind also that the obligation and responsibility of education, (provided) under the Federal Constitution, is the Federal government’s responsibility.
“However, the autonomy of education can be achieved through the enabler provided by Article 80, Clause 4 and 5 of the Federal Constitution, which allows the State to administer the Federal law and the arrangement of the financial between State and Federal to provide or to be responsible for such financial obligation,” said Dr Annuar. — DayakDaily