Kota Kinabalu July 03, 2011: The Education Department should be given greater empowerment on decision-making and the implementation of development projects, especially maintenance, training and recruitment of teachers.
"Allow us to manage our own allocations based on the concept 'Let managers manage' and so on," said State Education Director Datuk Dr Muhiddin Yusin.
"Currently the department is not empowered to manage any allocation for development even if it is for projects costing below RM500,000," he said.
He said this is despite present regulations which state that the department can decide on projects worth below RM500,000.
"This regulation has been stated in the Arahan Perbendaharaan (Treasury directive) more than 10 years ago," he said.
Muhiddin was speaking at a press conference organised by the Education Department together with PeWanis on a Family Day event on July 9 at Tanjung Aru First Beach.
He was commenting on the recent suggestion by State Assembly Speaker Datuk Seri Salleh Tun Said that the Sabah Education Department be given more power and autonomy.
According to Salleh, many school buildings in the State are in need of repair and educational projects are not carried out systematically due to having to refer simple matters to Putrajaya, which he said jeopardises the Government's efforts in developing education in Sabah.
Salleh acknowledged the capability of Muhiddin as head of the Education Department, in that he is well versed in the context of local needs, hence felt it unnecessary, or alternately, to minimise the requirement for local education officers to attend meetings held in Kuala Lumpur.