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By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, March 15: Pelagus assemblyman Wilson Nyabong Ijang today urges the Education Ministry to consider increasing the number of trainees for teachers teaching the Iban language in secondary schools.
Nyabong, in a press statement today, said he was concerned with the low number of trainees in Teachers’ Training Institutes in Malaysia dedicated to the teaching of Iban Language at both primary and secondary levels.
Thus, he urged the Education Ministry to raise the number of trainees for that purpose.
“What we are concerned about is that these teachers are trained to teach the Iban Language at primary (school) level only, while the Iban Language subject is offered as an elective at Form 3 Examination (PT3) and Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) levels.
“This means that we need more trained teachers to teach the Iban Language at secondary (school) level so that there is a continuity from the primary level. We also need to prepare these students for their PT3 and SPM,” said Nyabong.
Nyabong noted that since 2008, the Iban Language has been made an elective subject in SPM examination.
He observed that the only institute that offers the Bachelor of Teaching (Hons) Iban Language for Primary Education is the Teachers’ Training Institute (IPG) Rajang in Bintangor with only 25 trainees per intake.
He went on to say that only Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) in Perak offered the subject as a minor, which means that only a handful will eventually teach the Iban Language to secondary students.
Nyabong further suggested that the Bachelor of Teaching (Hons) Iban Language for Secondary Education be offered at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) in collaboration with UPSI.
“Even as an Iban, it would be beneficial to study the proper use of the language. There might be vocabulary, grammatical aspects and lexical semantics that one can learn from systematically studying the language.
“It is the same as taking up any language and it may even attract those from other ethnicity or races to take up the language,” Nyabong suggested. — DayakDaily