Help us, indigenous folk urges state, federal governments

Jisin (seated third from left), Antau (seated left), Irie (seated, second from right), Yong (seated, second from left) and Pathma (third from right) in a group photo with the workshop participants.

MIRI, Sept 23: A two-day workshop organised by indigenous teachers in the state ended today with six resolutions urging the state and federal government to help the indigenous community, especially stateless students.

Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) president Jisin Nyud told a press conference here today that the resolutions were meant to protect the rights of indigenous people, especially those residing in the rural areas.

“STU is calling upon the federal and state government to help resolve matters affecting the indigenous community,” he said.

One of the resolutions pertains to the issue of indigenous students in the rural areas without birth certificates and identity cards.

Jisin said without these important documents, these people would literally be shut out from society.

“They will not be able to find work without these important documents. Once they finish school, there will be the long process of applying for these documents, and it will deter their plans to look for jobs,” he lamented.

Another resolution called for more jobs for indigenous folk in the state and federal civil service.

“STU is also seeking for the Ministry of Education to revised the syllabus of the history books by emphasising on the indigenous people. The history books must be revised, with emphasis on the indigenous people so that we are not forgotten,” he said.

Another resolution hoped the federal government would take in more indigenous students for higher education and to give more focus to rural development.

Also present at the press conference were STU vice-president Antau Sampao, vice-president (Southern Zone) Irie Ambau, secretary-general Yong Ing Thung, Education International (EI) regional coordinator (Asia Pacific) Pathma Krishnan and 25 teachers. — DayakDaily