By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Dec 10: The Sarawak government aims at reducing income inequality caused by gaps within its education system.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said that has been why high on Sarawak’s development agenda is to make sure that these gaps in Sarawak’s education system are addressed.
“We have been implementing initiatives to ensure that Sarawak students generally will have access to the same, if not better quality of education as their peers in Semananjung Malaysia,” said Abang Johari.
He said among the initiatives are enhancing the competency of Sarawakian teachers and school leaders to improve the delivery of education; rebuilding or upgrading dilapidated schools and improving access to the treated water supply as well as 24-hour electricity supply to ensure a safe and conducive learning environment for Sarawakian students and teachers.
Providing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) materials and resources as well as establishing five Yayasan Sarawak International Secondary Schools are also among the initiatives listed by Abang Johari.
Abang Johari said this when officiating the virtual Sarawak English Language Symposium (Seles) 2020: Opportunity in Adversity organised by the Education Ministry and Sarawak’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research on Dec 9 and 10.
He believed that technology and innovation will be the two key factors that will drive the growth and prosperity of economies in the future.
“Therefore, we are also working hard to cultivate our students’ interest in STEM as to improve their future employability, and ultimately enhance the equality of our workforce to maximise efficiency and effectiveness.”
On English language, Abang Johari said it is an international language of communication and reference books, scientific and academic journals are mainly written and presented in the English language.
In Sarawak, English language is an official language alongside with Bahasa Malaysia, and employers have long expressed their preference of graduates who are able to communicate in English, the global language for trade and commerce.
“It is for these reasons that I accepted the challenge when the former federal Minister of Education offered Sarawak the task of being the first State in Malaysia to teach Science and Mathematics in English.”
Following the digital economy replacing the traditional economy, Abang Johari said the Sarawak government has been equipping Sarawakians with essential ICT and digital skills.
“To facilitate this, the State government will be providing all primary schools in the State with ICT tools in the form of Raspberry Pi and associated accessories.
“This will be followed up with necessary programs for teachers and students to develop the capacity of students to use ICT tools to generate solutions to problems,” said Abang Johari. – DayakDaily