CM: International schools for rural students a step towards globally competitive manpower

Abang Johari being welcomed at SK Abang Leman.

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By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Nov 20: Sarawak is embarking on an ambitious mission to produce ‘universal’ manpower that can compete among the best in the world, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

To achieve that ambition, he said Sarawak will start five international boarding schools to cater for excellent students from the rural areas.

“Our intention is to produce excellent students who can compete in the global arena. That is why we will set up five international boarding schools in Sarawak with syllabus based on Cambridge University.

“Students from these schools will compete against each other and the best would be able to pursue their studies at Cambridge University or any top university in the world, with the financial assistance of Yayasan Sarawak,” Abang Johari said at the 100th Anniversary Celebration of SK Abang Leman in Kabong, which was telecast live by TV Sarawak this morning.

He reiterated that for a start, two students from Sarawak will pursue their studies at Cambridge University and another two at the London School of Economics — both institutions in the United Kingdom — and will be fully sponsored by Yayasan Sarawak.

He also hoped that Yayasan Sarawak students would be able to pursue their studies at Stanford University in the United States, next year.

“We will find the money to educate our students. I believed that if we are sincere, God will help us (to get the necessary funding) as we are just trying to help our students to excel in their studies and to help develop Sarawak in the long run,” he said.

Abang Johari sits on a boat carried by locals during his arrival at SK Abang Leman’s 100th anniversary celebration in Kabong (Nov 20, 2019).

Abang Johari also reiterated that the Sarawak government was concerned with the fate of National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loan borrowers and that was why he set aside RM30 million next year to assist them to settle their loans.

“This will assist them to settle their loans. But they have to settle their loans with Yayasan Sarawak. This way, they can purse their dreams to work anywhere without their passports being blacklisted,” he added.

At the function, the Chief Minister also announced the setting up of a computer lab at SK Abang Leman with an estimated cost of RM250,000.

“We will get a new building for the purpose and the students and teachers will use computer laptops to learn new technology. And I’m happy that both students and the teachers here are ready for it,” he said.

He also praised SK Abang Leman for its achievement in producing some of the top personnel in the army and in the judiciary. One of the top army officers produced by the school was a former Deputy Army Chief and former First Division Infantry Commander Lt Gen Datuk Mohammad Awie Suboh. — DayakDaily