“Sarawak has enough quality teachers to teach Science and Mathematics in English,” says Manyin

Manyin (right) and deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research Dr Abdul Rahman Deen at a press conference held at the former’s office at Bangunan Baitul Makmur, Kuching today (Sept 28, 2020).

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By Peter Sibon

KUCHING, Sept 28: Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong said today that Sarawak has enough quality teachers to teach both Science and Mathematics in English in schools throughout Sarawak which started in January this year.

“We have enough quality teachers here. I studied in UK (United Kingdom) for my teacher’s training and the standard that we have here is the same,” Manyin told a news conference at his office at Bangunan Baitul Makmur here today.

He also stressed that should Sarawak import English teachers from UK, the salaries for these imported teachers would be doubled that of the local teachers.

“If this happens, then it will demoralise local teachers as their pay would be less. So we don’t agree with this suggestion,” stressed Manyin.

He was responding to the suggestion made by Professor Teo Kok Seng of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) who recently suggested that Sarawak should import British teachers to improve the standard of English in Sarawak instead of setting up the Sarawak International Schools.

“I thanked the professor for his suggestion that we import British teachers to improve the standard of English in our schools.

“We have actually considered this costly option but feel that, for the moment, it is better to invest that money to improve the competency of our own teachers and students. We have implemented many programmes towards this, including Teaching of Mathematics and Science in English; Sarawak English Language Education Symposium (SELES); Post graduate Certificate in Teaching English as Second Language (budget has been approved by State government but still awaiting approval from MOE); supply of teaching and learning resources in English; Sarawak English Language Proficiency Initiatives (SELPI) and Speak English Every Day Every Where (SEED),” he said.

Besides recommending for Sarawak to import British teachers, Prof Teo had also cautioned that the proposal by the Sarawak government to set up International Schools goes against the provisions of Education Act 1996. Teo had said that under the Act, all government schools must use Bahasa Malaysia as the medium of instruction.

Meanwhile, Manyin revealed that the State government has spent only RM6.5 million instead of the total allocation of RM10 million to train teachers in Sarawak to teach both Mathematics and Science in English, which was implemented in January this year.-DayakDaily