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KUCHING, Nov 15: Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin says for the last three years, Sarawak has ranked poorly in public examinations.
For UPSR, Sarawak ranked 14th, 15th and 15th in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively.
For SPM, Sarawak has ranked 15th out of 16 (states and federal territories) for 2014, 2015 and 2016.
“For this reason, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research together with Sarawak Education Department have identified 357 low-enrolment schools throughout the state that can be merged into 126 centralised schools,” said Manyin in his winding up speech at the State Legislative Assembly today.
However, he pointed out the mergers and the final number of centralised schools created will depend on the outcome of engagement with affected communities.
Manyin who is Tebedu assemblyman said low-enrolment was also the contributing factor for the low numbers of Science stream students in upper secondary classes in Sarawak schools, at 23 per cent.
“Too many low-enrolment schools had science and mathematics taught by non-option teachers where in certain cases, teachers may be forced to teach the subjects. Often, these teachers may use unsuitable methodology and approaches which kill the students’ interest at the early stage.
“Low-enrolment schools do not have facilities and resources such as Science Labs for the teaching of science and mathematics,” said Manyin.
He said this was one of the main reasons why the ministry and the Education Department have been actively pursuing centralisation of low-enrolment schools.
Meanwhile, Manyin said the ministry will address the matter of the 415 dilapidated schools of which 205 will be rebuilt or upgraded under the 11th Malaysia Plan while the remaining 210 schools will receive the special fund of RM1 billion allocated by the federal government.
In answer to a question posed by Meradong assemblyman Ding Kuong Hiing, Manyin said the federal government had decided to close the Sarawak Teachers Training Institute in Miri and Rajang Teachers Training Institute in Bintangor.
He said both teachers’ training institutes will be turned into technical vocational education and training (TVET) centres. — DayakDaily