KUCHING, August 5: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg paid a glowing tribute to mission schools in the state and pledged that his administration would continue to support their development.
“Being myself the product of a mission school, I am proud of my association with mission schools, although I am not a Christian,” he said at St Mary’s schools’ 170th anniversary celebration last night. His text-of-speech was read out by Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong.
Abang Johari recalled the work of one writer who penned that mission schools are renowned for their proud tradition, academic excellence and all-round commitment to producing fine products of outstanding character, discipline and citizenship.
“I couldn’t agree more with this view. In fact, Sarawak’s success story and what it is today is in no small measure contributed by the products of mission schools.
“They are the ‘who’s who’ of the top political leadership, successful businesses and enterprises, captains of industries, and in the civil service.
“They are the ‘movers and shakers’ of Sarawak’s economic progress and development of the past, present and in the future,” said Abang Johari.
He believed mission schools would continue to leave their legacies and footprints in the state’s educational journey, including the character building of its young generation.
Noting that mission schools now cater to students of various racial, cultural and religious backgrounds, Abang Johari said the state government would continue to support the development and progress of these schools.
On St Mary’s, he said he was aware that its schools needed a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) lab since eight years ago.
“St. Mary’s has a long history and tradition and has come of age, as one of the earliest schools in Sarawak. Its primary and secondary schools have always been regarded as schools of excellence, and they are the pride of Sarawak.
“It’s not just a school; it’s an institution in its own right for its legacies and contributions to the community and society,” he said.
St. Mary’s Primary School was the recipient of Anugerah Harapan Negara 2005, Anugerah Khas Ketua Menteri 2010, and Cluster School of Excellence Award 2014, 2015 and 2016. Today, it carries the status of a High Performing School — the third primary school in Sarawak to achieve this. — DayakDaily