RANAU July 10, 2011: Former Kinabalu (now Ranau) MP Datuk Dr Osman @ Othman Minudin said Deputy Education Minister Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi:s challenge to be beheaded if a school project did not materialise should be a lesson to all Federal Ministers about promising projects to the people.
He said Puad should pot have joked about it concerning the proposed SMK Nabalu. And having said that he should not have allowed it to be delayed by two years because the people were actually waiting for the school longer than that. "He should not have taken a long time to respond to the grouseS from various quarters on the delay because he sits in the Ministry and knows all the procedures related to the project's implementation," said Dr Osman.
He said this only suggests that Puad probably thought the people of Sabah could be taken lightly or for granted. He said education development in Sabah would not progress accordingly so long as Putrajaya decides even small things like repairs of any damage to school buildings. 'Even this requires a Deputy Minister to come down and check before any allocation can be provided," he said, and asked what then was the responsibility of the Sabah Education Department, "Why can't this department decide even those small matters?" he asked.
He said his observation as an MP (1990-1994) showed the State Education Department at that time did not have to refer to
Kuala Lunpur but this was probably because the Director post then was held by a West Malaysian. "Is it no more the same just because the post is now held by a Sabahan?"
Dr Osman also noted that Puad was also not successful in getting sufficient teachers to fill the thousands of vacancies in the State while there was talk of flooding the State with peninsula teachers, whose return after a couple of years only affected the academic performance of Sabahans.
TIe is aware that there are thousands of Sabahan graduates who have applied to become teachers but were never considered," he said.
He hoped the issue of graduate quality would not be made an excuse by Puad because Sabahans are surely no less academically
qualified than their peninsula counterparts.
"Sabahan graduates who apply to become teachers should be given top priority in filling up the thousands of vacancies in the State. Either they should go for teaching training or teach first while waiting to be called for training," he said.