KOTA KINABALU: The State Government is hoping for the Unity Government under the leadership of Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, to finalise the devolution of power in education and health soon as discussed through the Technical Committee of the Malaysia 1963 Agreement (MA63).
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor welcomed the announcement of Deputy Prime Minister, Dato’ Sri Haji Fadillah Yusof about the devolution of power as having more autonomy will ensure that the state’s education system continues to progress in line with the developments in Peninsular Malaysia.
He stated that the devolution of power, particularly concerning administration and management, will facilitate the State Government’s ability to implement educational development projects and appoint teaching positions more swiftly, aligning with the state people’s expectations.
“The efforts to decentralise the power of education also indirectly prove the Federal Government’s trust in the State Government’s machinery, especially in enhancing the capabilities of the education system in this state,” he said at the 34th Sabah State Excellent Scholarship Awards Presentation Ceremony at Auditorium Tun Ahmad Raffae, Menara Tun Mustapha on Tuesday.
“Efforts to decentralise educational authority indirectly validate the Federal Government’s faith in the State Government’s capacity, particularly regarding the enhancement of this state’s educational system,” he said at Tuesday’s 34th Sabah State Excellent Scholarship Awards Presentation Ceremony at the Tun Ahmad Raffae Auditorium, Menara Tun Mustapha.
“With this autonomy, I believe that the State Government, via the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, will gain flexibility in addressing various education-related issues in this state. It’s pertinent to note that state-level officers have superior insight into local populace’s issues.
“Therefore, improved control and supervision should be instituted, thereby streamlining the management of people’s issues, ensuring efficiency and swift response times,” he said.
The State Government invested RM35 million in 2022 to propel various educational initiatives, aimed at fostering an educated workforce for this state, thereby sculpting a promising future.
He said among these educational endeavours include BUDI (One-off IPT Registration), BISTARI (Sabah Education Savings Aid), BAKTI (Special Cash Exam Assistance), BAGUS (Assistance to Parents and Teachers Association (PTA)), AKSA (Sabah Education Excellence Award), BISBAH (Sabah School Aid), and BAIK (Computer Aid).
Collectively, these initiatives have extended their benefits to approximately 41,590 students and 3,044 infants, encompassing 1,500 schools and 630 PTAs.
This year, the State Government has allocated RM43 million in the 2023 budget for these same objectives.
He said these initiatives involve a variety of support methods such as cash assistance for Higher Education Institute (IPT) registration, the National Education Savings Scheme (SSPN), examination help, excellence awards, contributions towards school equipment, laptops, and aid to PTAs.
Hajiji stressed that these initiatives underscore the government’s commitment to emphasising inclusive educational opportunities for all citizens, regardless of their socio-economic backgrounds.
These endeavours have consistently delivered significant advantages, particularly in alleviating the financial strain on the less privileged and B40 groups.
According to him, this year will also witness the launch of two additional educational aid initiatives: the Special Assistance Program for Sabah Education (BANTU) and the Small School Maintenance Assistance (BALKIS).