By Adrian Lim
KUCHING, Nov 23 : The Sarawak government is looking into allowing the entry of foreign students to resume their studies at the institutions of higher learning in Sarawak through a ‘student bubble’ arrangement.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the state government is evaluating the proposal which enables foreign students from Covid-19 free countries to resume their studies through face-to-face classes at public and private universities in Sarawak.
“Yeah, why not? I think in the next two years, hopefully the (Covid-19) pandemic could be solved and with the discovery of a vaccine, the question of quarantine will no longer be applicable.
“What we have is a good immigration policy which allows foreigners to come here (Sarawak) on an education pass.
“That will create the synergy,” he said when responding to a question from Sarawak Business Federation (SBF) deputy president Datuk Philip Ting during a webinar hosted by the business association through Microsoft Zoom today.
Earlier, Ting asked the chief minister whether it makes sense for the Sarawak government to implement our own student bubble at the moment for approximately 3,000 foreign students to return to Sarawak to further their studies.
He also suggested that foreign students who came into Sarawak be tested for Covid-19 and quarantined before being allowed to return to their physical classes.
Ting noted such an approach has been implemented in Darwin, Australia.
Abang Johari concurred with Ting’s proposal noting that such an arrangement has been implemented in both Australia and New Zealand.
He agreed with Ting that foreign students who returned to Sarawak be subjected to undergo Covid-19 screening and quarantined prior to them returning to their physical classes.
On another note, Abang Johari stressed that the state government emphasised the importance of education and is looking at creating a flexible ecosystem for students to learn and excel in their studies.
He observed that the world economy revolved around the use of English and Chinese.
Thus, he believed good command of English and Chinese are equally important for Sarawakian to earn a living and have a better future.
He also believed students from Chinese educated schools who have obtained their Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) will be a talent for Sarawak.
Abang Johari said the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) state government is creating a conducive learning environment through the establishment of international schools that can provide Sarawakian students to excel in their studies. —DayakDaily