TSI is positive with the Sarawak Ministry of Education

Dr Annuar (seated centre), flanked by TSI chairman Datuk John Tenewi and deputy chairman Sidi Munan (right) in a group photo after the courtesy call. Standing from left are the organisation’s secretary Goh Leng Yeu and committee members Margaret Bedus, Ratanah Devi and Prof Hamsawi Sani.

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KUCHING, May 27: The Sarawak Initiatives (TSI) hope that the first Yayasan Sarawak International School (YSISS) in the State will absorb religious education as an extracurricular activity and not an essential subject.

The non-governmental organisation (NGO) noted that the education syllabus at the Yayasan Sarawak International School emphasises learning from a global perspective so students may view and learn and keep up with world development advancing at great speed.

“TSI hopes that the school will not introduce any religious studies in the international school. Instead, leave religious studies as an extracurricular activity and let parents take care of this with their children,” it said in a statement today.

TSI further lauded the introduction of the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) syllabus at the school, which it believes is the right track to building better exposure for students in the international arena.

TSI also encouraged parents, especially those from the rural setting, to take up the opportunity to send their children to Yayasan Sarawak International School amid its usage of English as the medium of instruction.

“Living in the interior must not be seen as a hindrance, where parents should take advantage of the boarding facilities provided at the school.

“Boarding life would give students early exposure to independence and provide the opportunity to interact with those from all races, deemed a key element in building national unity,” it added.

TSI also hoped that the Sarawak government would set up a training centre for teachers and work with other countries with an excellent track record in education, particularly Singapore and Finland.

For the record, TSI recently paid a courtesy call on the Sarawak Deputy Minister for Education, Innovation and Talent Development, Dr Annuar Rapaee and had a good discussion on the Sarawak education policy.

The first Yayasan Sarawak International School, located at Petra Jaya, Kuching, officially opened its doors last month and attracted 111 students for its pioneer intake.

Sarawak Education, Innovation and Talent Development Minister, Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn, at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting on Tuesday (May 24), said 60 per cent of the students were from the B40 low-income group, while the M40 and T20 made up 30 per cent and 10 per cent respectively.

The Sarawak government offers full scholarships to students from the B40 group, but they would have to sit for an entrance assessment test to qualify for placement at the school. However, students from the M40 and T20 groups would pay a minimal monthly fee.

Additionally, the State is looking to set up more Yayasan Sarawak international schools, particularly in Sibu, Bintulu, and Miri. — DayakDaily