State govt aims to make science more understandable, accessible to future-proof economy

Abang Johari (seated) officiates at the Sarawak Science Centre earth-breaking ceremony as others look on.

KUCHING, Oct 1: Science is fundamental for society, hence making it more understandable and accessible is something that the Sarawak government believes is worth investing in, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg asserts.

Justifying the reason to build the Sarawak Science Centre, Abang Johari pointed out that technology and innovation will be the two key factors which will drive the growth and prosperity of economies in the future, and Sarawak will be no exception.

“Our post-Covid-19 socio-economic development plan charted by the Sarawak Economic Action Council will focus on economic sectors such as renewable energy, commercial agriculture, manufacturing, tourism, mining and forestry.
The key enablers necessary to achieve success in these sectors include utilisation of technology, an innovative ecosystem as well as education and human capital development.

“For Sarawak to thrive and succeed, we must make sure that our young Sarawakians are able to master and take advantage of emerging technologies. This requires a strong foundation in Science and Mathematics, not only amongst students, but also society,” he said at the Sarawak Science Centre earth-breaking ceremony in Serian today.

In order to be able to make sense of things and make important decisions that affect society, Abang Johari noted being scientifically literate is critical, and therefore the state government must popularise and promote science education to enable Sarawakians to understand and appreciate its concepts and processes.

This, he said. can also help society and individuals to solve everyday problems more effectively.

One of the most effective means to provide effective informal learning about science and technology is through dedicated science centres which offer a wide variety of engaging, immersive and interactive experiences that are fun, educational and stimulating.

He also believed that not only can it satisfy the intellectual curiosity of students, but also of the general public, and enhance understanding of the natural and man-made environments.

Meanwhile, Sarawak Science Centre chief executive officer Shariman Jamil said the project is expected to be completed in 2024.

He pointed out that the centre’s facilities and infrastructure, including hostels, will be build within the compound which is situated on 10.8 acres of land.

“Although the centre’s target focus is on schools, students and teachers, it will be open to parents, the community and the public. We also welcome the private sector to participate, collaborate, invest and work together with the Ministry for Education, Science and Technological Research Sarawak to realise the state’s objective.”

When asked on the cost for the Sarawak Science Centre project, Shariman said he would not disclose it, although it is under the ministry. — DayakDaily