T C Goh
KOTA KINABALU: The Federation of Chinese Associations Sabah (FCAS) has hailed the State Government for setting up a state education fund, describing it as a timely forward-looking move.
Its President, Tan Sri T C Goh, hopes that the Federal Government, the Ministry of Education (MOE) especially, could give their full cooperation and to provide special funding to support such a noble initiative by the Sabah State Government.
He also hoped that once set up, the proposed education fund could better assist all races of poor students, Chinese students included, to pursue secondary and higher education.
Goh, who is also President of the Federation of Chinese Associations Malaysia (Huazong), expressed this while he welcomed the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Haji Noor’s recent announcement that the Sabah Government is setting up a state education fund (Tabung Pendidikan Negeri Sabah) as part of its overall effort to develop human resources crucial for the state’s progress.
“As compared to Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah is still lagging behind in various sectors, education included.
“Hence, Sabah deserves more attention and funding from the Federal Government, in order to close the gap of inequality,” he said in a statement issued today.
He also welcomed and supported the State Government’s initiatives of providing Bantuan Tunai Pendaftaran IPT (Budi), one-off RM2,000 cash aid to deserving students; and Bantuan Khas Tunai Peperiksaan (Bakti), one-off RM200 cash aid for those taking SPM, Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM) and Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM).
Goh, who is also a member of the Sabah Economic Advisory Council (SEAC), also proposed the State Government to consider expanding the said initiatives, to include students from Chinese independent secondary schools who are sitting for the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) exam.
Meanwhile, on the recent revelation by Senior Education Minister Datuk Mohd Radzi Md Jidin that, Selangor, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak are currently facing acute shortage of teachers, especially for subjects such as English, History and Islamic Studies as well as the Special Education Programme, Goh opined that there’s an urgent need for the MOE to ramp up effort to boost recruitment for trainee teachers at the teachers training colleges in Sabah and Sarawak.
He further noted that, due to the issues of far distance and cultural differences, teachers from Peninsular Malaysia tend to resist transfer to Sabah and Sarawak.
Hence, he said, the ideal solution to address the perennial issue of shortage of teachers in Sabah and Sarawak, is to achieve self-reliance.
He reckoned that such an ideal solution can be achieved by improving the existing teachers recruitment and training system.
This includes hiring more lecturers of high caliber, to upgrade the existing facilities, and to provide better incentives to encourage fresh school graduates to sign up for teacher training programme, he said.
“The Minister concerned also acknowledged that the decline in the recruitment of trainee teachers, in teachers training colleges since 2016, had resulted in primary schools and secondary schools facing acute shortage of teachers.
“Hence, a practical long-term solution is to establish a better and more comprehensive teachers training institution in Sabah and Sarawak to recruit and to produce more local teachers,” he suggested.