Chong reminds Swak govt of DAP proposal for English-medium private schools

Chong Chieng Jen

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KUCHING, Sept 25: Although the state government is five years late in setting up its international schools, Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen still believed that private schools with English as medium of instruction were less costly to implement and could cater to all Sarawakians for free.

In December 2015’s State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Sitting, Chong emphasised that Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) had formally proposed the concept of ‘state-owned private schools with English as medium of instruction’.

In his motion, Chong also proposed that the 10 per cent of the state government expenditure budget be channelled to and allocated for the development including operating the private schools and provide free education for the students studying in these schools.

“It took the previous BN (Barisan Nasional) and now GPS (Gabungan Parti Sarawak) government 5 years to put into action the suggestion, but late is better than never,” he said in a statement today.

However, he pointed out that there were substantial differences and flaws in Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s proposal of introducing the state-owned international school system as compared to their initial proposal.

As such, he called on the state government to set up private schools including for primary with English language as the medium of instruction, instead of setting up international schools which were also costlier.

“Creating a private education system with 10 per cent of the state’s budget allocated so that more of such schools can be set up to benefit more children instead of only five international schools for the whole state which will create an elitist group of students.

“Provide free education for all Sarawakians in these private schools, not only the selected ones,” he said in referring to the current proposal for international schools which would be free for B40 families and partially subsidised for M40 families while the rest will have to pay.

Chong, who is also Kota Sentosa assemblyman, also suggested providing free additional English lessons in primary schools so that more students will be equipped with the necessary standard of English to enrol in the secondary English medium schools.

With only five schools proposed for whole Sarawak, he viewed that the number benefitting from the system will be small and it will not have an impact on the general population of Sarawak.—DayakDaily