Sarawak govt to build 5 international schools for rural prodigies

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By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Nov 2: The Sarawak government will build five residential international schools to cater for the needs of smart children from the rural areas.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said at current, only the elites can afford to send their children to private international schools.

The planned residential schools will cater for the smart children of rural dwellers, where they can be groomed and benefit from the high standard study environment and education system. This is because Sarawak social policy must be fair to all, he added.

As only the elites can afford private international schools, the five international schools, he said, will cater for smart children of the rural dwellers, where these students will have to stay in as boarders.

“The people in the rural areas, when they are smart, they have to be groomed in that particular eco-system. So we will bring the sons of the farmers, the fishermen and the deprived, where they will be sent to these international schools,” he said at the agreement signing ceremony between Saradise Sdn Bhd and Borneo International School here today.

Abang Johari explained that the state is not competing with the private sector but trying to provide an avenue for the “smart kids” from rural areas to have the same opportunity as the children of the elites in the urban areas.

“In another word, at the end of the day, you have people across the board who are smart and have the opportunity to study further. This will definitely encompasses every member of the society and they are eligible to go to world class universities,” he continued.

Abang Johari also suggested the need to set up a private international school in Bintulu, in particular Samalaju, amid the pouring investment into the state.

On the overall development in Sarawak, he reiterated the need for the state to be connected internationally considering its small population despite large land mass.

He said Sarawakians must be trained to have a global mindset and be connected to the world through digital means.

Citing the example of Sarawak government’s initiative of setting up Sarawak Trade and Tourism Office Singapore, which has been a commercial success to the state within four months of operations, the chief minister said the Island Republic has imported 12 tonnes of Tilapia from Sarawak, among other achievements.

While the world is changing to be digital-based, he said Sarawak must also adopt to suit the changing environment. The Sarawak government is showing the way by laying the basic foundation, such as providing a global digital payment system by linking Sarawak Pay to Union Pay. — DayakDaily