Sarawak hopes that the new federal government under the leadership of Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim will consider giving the state autonomy in education.
Sarawak Education, Innovation and Talent Development Minister Roland Sagah Wee Inn said the matter should be given due consideration as it was the aspiration of all Sarawakians.
"The autonomy, if granted, should include matters of policy and execution. However, the federal government would continue to provide the required funding," he told the Sarawak state assembly in his winding-up speech on the state’s budget for next year.
He said even though education falls under the jurisdiction of the federal government, the state government had always placed top priority on education matters.
This was evident through its efforts including on improving the physical development of schools and continuous professional development programmes for educators, he added.
On Nov 26, following a meeting with Sarawak Premier Abang Johari Openg, Anwar said relations between the federal and Sarawak governments would be closer and strengthened under the unity government.
Meanwhile, Sagah said that at the moment, there was no critical shortage of teachers in Sarawak. However, he said there were still issues with the placement of teachers due to teaching subject specialisation and family-related matters.
"It is a policy to put spouses together in the same location. We do not want the husband to teach in Lundu, while the wife teaches in Lawas.
"On a similar note, we have achieved the 90:10 ratio of Sarawakian to non-Sarawakian teachers. We must thank the education ministry for the endeavour to achieve the ratio as aspired by all Sarawakians," he said.
Sagah also said the construction of the Sarawak Infectious Disease Centre would commence in the first half of 2023 and is expected to be completed within 24 months.