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Stop Subservient Mindset and Advance Education of Sabahans

Kota Kinabalu:     “Educators at all levels in Sabah especially Sabahans need to change their mindset as subservient servants serving their masters in Putrajaya.   They should not cover-up and defend wrong-doings but instead take issues and matters by the horn and do the right thing so that education in Sabah can advance” said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief.

Education in Sabah is at all-time lows resulting In Sabahans languishing at the bottom of the employment pile with many landed with factory and menial jobs and tens of thousands being unemployed.

Recent events have highlighted that no one is really in charge of education in Sabah which allows errant educators and other staff to go off at a tangent which compromise the standards of education and threaten the fabric of social life in Sabah.

Instead of hauling the errant educators and punishing them, their wayward errors are defended stoutly by Sabahans and the culprits are let off scot-free allowing them to do more damage elsewhere.

“How is it that a school can be allowed to decide to do away with Kadazandusun classes and be replaced with Arabic lessons?”

“Wouldn’t the right action be for the school authorities to ask for a replacement Kadazandusun teacher?”

“Who made that decision and why is this shortcoming not addressed and deterrence put in place so that it will not be allowed to be repeated in the future?”

“What is being done to increase the number of Sabahan educators including Kadazandusun language teachers?”

The student conversion case in Kinarut is another case in point.   The defending of the hostel warden and putting the blame on the poor girl is unacceptable.   Many questions are left unanswered.

If it is true that the girl wanted to convert on her own free will, the warden should have brought it up to the school principal and the parents called in.  “Why wasn’t this done by the warden?”

“Who gave the authority to the warden to do the conversion?”

“Why didn’t the warden bring it up to the school principal and parents?”

“What steps are being taken so that such incidents do not recur in the future?”

“Can one imagine what will happen or the furore if a Malay student suddenly converts on his own free will like in Kinarut and everyone is in the dark until a police report is lodged?”

At a different level, the Minister in charge of MARA had directed restriction directives on other religions in MRSM colleges be withdrawn in Sarawak.   The Deputy Prime Minister has also directed his Ministry to do like-wise in Sarawak. The DPM also ordered that more trainee teachers from Sarawak be selected for new intakes.

“Why is it that similar directives are not applied in Sabah?”

“What will the Sabah government do to ensure the same directives are applied in Sabah to ensure freedom of religion as guaranteed in the Federal Constitution and Batu Sumpah?

“Why is there no additional intake of trainee teachers from Sabah” one wonders.

If we continue to condone such errant educators and misguided policies, we might as well make Arabic mandatory and make everyone convert to Islam by passing new constitutional laws and do away with freedom of religion.

“What steps will the Sabah Education Department now take to ensure that educators from Malaya are screened to ensure that they do not repeat such mistakes that threaten the peace and harmony of Sabah society?”

The Sabah Education Director should ensure that education in Sabah is adapted to suit the local circumstances to build towering Sabahans and not allow racial and religious overtones from Malaya to enter the education system especially schools in Sabah.

Everything needs to be done to advance the education standards of Sabahans even if it means telling Putrajaya and educators from Malaya their mistakes.   If Putrajaya or the education bosses in Malaya threaten with dismissal, demotion or transfer to Timbuktu or Saudi Arabia, refer to the Sabah Government.

“I am sure that the Sabah government will defend Sabah educators and administrators who defend and advance Sabah education” said Dr. Jeffrey.

After all, even the Prophet himself advised his followers to pursue education and knowledge.

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