Allocate funds to rural schools based on needs

Adam Prakash Abdullah

KUCHING: Sarawak Teachers Union (STU) fully supports Assistant Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dr Annuar Rapaee’s call to the federal Education Ministry to change its method of granting funds to rural schools.

STU president Adam Prakash Abdullah said the current method of granting funds to rural schools based on the number of students was no longer applicable and effective.

“We support Dr Annuar ‘s call for these changes to be made. We also hope that the Ministry of Education (MOE) can be more innovative when allocating funds to all schools,” he told the New Sarawak Tribune on Sunday (July 18).

Adam said the union would want to see the allocation of funds based on the needs and requirements of the schools to ensure equal access to education.

“Our schoolchildren in the country deserve equal treatment and equality to accessibility to education.

“No child should be at a disadvantage because of outdated management procedures and STU hopes our Senior Minister of Education will initiate these changes,” he added.

Adam also thanked the Sarawak Education Department for taking federal fund spending seriously and utilising the fund allocations effectively.

He was commenting on Dr Annuar’s remarks during an online dialogue organised by Institut Aminuddin Baki (IAB) Sarawak on July 16.

The assistant minister had suggested that the funds be allocated based on remoteness of the schools, lack of infrastructure and examination results.

“In rural areas, we have a lot of schools with low enrolment of students. There are schools that have less than 50 students. If we go by this system, rural schools will continue to get small allocations.

“If the allocations are small, how are they going to get the equipment and facilities needed (for teaching and learning)?” asked Dr Annuar during the online dialogue.

He said such a system could only be applied if all schools had the same level of access to much-needed facilities and equipment.