Dr Annuar taking some pointers from Fatimah. — Photo by Tan Song Wei
KUCHING: The new Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research will enable the state government to oversee education matters.
Newly appointed Assistant Minister of Education and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapa’ee said though matters concerning education were mainly under the federal government, the creation of this new ministry would enable the state government to look into what is needed such as school infrastructure.
“For education, it is under the federal list but what we need in Sarawak is more on infrastructure which we are lacking. But on the other hand, looking at that only is not enough as we need to also emphasise on human resource concerning teachers as well as academic results for students.
“At the end of the day, what we want is for our people to have more knowledge, to be more educated because the nation will collapse if there is a collapse in the education system,” he said when met after attending the state Barisan Nasional (BN) pre-council meeting which was chaired by Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg at PBB headquarters here yesterday.
In addition to his new post, Dr Annuar will also serve as Assistant Minister of Housing and Public Health which was announced by Abang Johari at a press conference on his new state cabinet line-up on Saturday.
On his new responsibilities, the former Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Science Research and Biotechnology) said he had a crucial role to play as the decisions made by the ministry will ‘affect people’s lives from basic needs to their future’.
“Education is for the future, housing is for the people’s needs and health is also equally as important. I look at it (post) as a very heavy task and I hope to be able to do something for the state especially in terms of housing and education,” he remarked.
Meanwhile, Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said the new Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research covers education issues from primary one to tertiary education.
“So the division of work is now divided into pre-school which will be covered by my ministry while the new ministry will cover from primary one to tertiary education.”
Asked if it would be chaotic to split the overseeing of education into two ministries, she did not think it would be a problem.
“The last time, we do not have an education minister at state-level and it was only through the minister watching brief for a particular department.
“Now, because our chief minister has a very clear direction on how we can move forward, we have to start with education and that is why he has set up this new ministry so we have our own way of solving problems concerning education in terms of the infrastructure and so on,” explained Fatimah, who was formerly the watching-brief minister on education.
She added that with the creation of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research, the state would now has a bigger clout in solving education issues.