KUCHING: The Education Ministry welcomes more private sector involvement to strengthen and expand the trust school programme across the country.
The Education Minister's adviser Wan Saiful Wan Jan said smart partnership between the government and private sector was vital to improve quality and optimise public spending in education.
"I hope more private sector organisations will step forward to be involved in the development of education in the country. One immediate step they can take is to sponsor the trust school programme.
"In the long term, this is an opportunity for the private sector to contribute new ideas and models for trust schools which we can explore," he said when opening the Trust Schools Conference 2018 here yesterday.
Trust schools are government schools jointly managed with private partners under the Education Ministry. Yayasan Amir is the pioneer partner of the trust school programme, with LeapEd Services Sdn Bhd as its design and implementation partner.
There are currently 83 trust schools in 10 states which use a "whole school improvement" approach through best practices in teaching and learning.
Wan Saiful called for more partners to come up with more trust school models and compete with the existing education service providers.
"Ultimately students and parents will benefit from healthy competition among trust school service providers," he said.
This is in line with Pakatan Harapan's manifesto which pledged to improve the trust school programme.
Wan Saiful also wanted the programme to be expanded nationwide as the existing trust schools were proven to be doing well.
"I think 83 schools is still a small number compared to the programme's potential. My hope is that we can multiply the number of trust schools and ensure that no state is left out of this programme," he said.
Some 700 participants are attending the three-day conference, which features education experts from Finland among its speakers.