The Sarawak Premier states that is confident that the plan will be implemented in 2026 as the economy will be stronger then.
By 2026, all state-owned universities may offer free tertiary education to Sarawakians, according to Sarawak Premier Abang Johari Openg.
He stated this during the closing of the Pesta Benak Festival 2023 which took place at Sri Aman waterfront. Given the state’s economic strength, he is confident in his ability to put the plan into action in three years, he added in the statement as reported by FMT.
“I can commit to 2026 because our economic strength will be stronger by then,” he said.
According to him, Sarawak is on course to surpass its RM12 billion in reported income from the previous year.
“Based on my calculations for this year, maybe we can break our record from last year. This year may be better than 2022,” he stated as reported by The Borneo Post.
Moreover, he also stated that he has asked the state’s Ministry of Education, Innovation, and Talent Development (MEITD) to investigate the possibilities of making the plan happen.
“I have MEITD minister Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn and his deputy Datuk Dr. Annuar Rapaee to study on providing free tertiary education to Sarawakians in our state-owned universities,” he stated and added he is optimistic that the 13th Malaysia Plan’s execution would be realised by 2025 or 2026.
Furthermore, the Sarawak Premier stated that the goal of free higher education was to increase the number of Sarawakians who were competent and able to utilise new technologies to further the state’s development as reported by Malaysia Now.
He continued by saying that the Sarawak Sovereign Wealth Future Fund’s remaining funds will go towards supporting young Sarawakians’ education.
“We already have a sovereign fund for our future, and apart from that, we will focus on our children’s education and strengthen our economy and develop our infrastructure,” he said.
Benefits of Free Education
There has been a never-ending debate about the concept of free education around the world. There are many countries that are free tertiary education such as Germany, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland.
There are many benefits in providing society with free tertiary education. One of them is that it improves society. According to an article published in the University of The People, with free tertiary education, more people can be educated and in return, there will be more persons available for high-skilled employment. The number of individuals entering the labour will increase as a result, which may help close the income gap between the high, medium, and lower groups.
Moreover, it also helps to widen the workforce. Additionally, the staff will be more agile. When an industry struggles during a recession, another typically emerges to take its place. Then, workers must receive new training and instruction in job-specific abilities. The populace would be better prepared to handle economic shifts if more individuals could enroll in school and focus their studies on rising sectors.
Furthermore, it also helps to create equality. The playing field hasn’t always been level since cost is such a big concern for so many individuals when it comes to going to college.
Even if many of the world’s smartest people originate from low-income families, this shouldn’t prevent them from finishing their education. Everyone would have the chance to attend school if there were an equal opportunity to do so. A big step towards equality is having affordable education.