By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Nov 7: Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) leaders have been urged to start encouraging rural students to get good results in UPSR so as to qualify to enrol in the international schools to be set up by the state government.
Assistant Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapaee emphasised that the Sarawak government is the only government which has taken the bold move to set up five residential international schools to cater for the needs of smart children from rural areas in Sarawak.
“It is meant for rural Sarawakian children regardless of race. Rural children who have achieved good academic results in UPSR can be enrolled into one of the five international schools to be established,” he said.
Dr Annuar was responding to Balingian assemblyman Abdul Yakub Arbi’s supplementary questions on the benefit of the international schools for rural children.
He emphasised that this was an effort to democratise education where everyone has the right to international-standard quality education.
“We want to produce world class technocrats. When they complete their secondary education in schools with Cambridge IGCSE (Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education), they can proceed to go to the top universities in the world.
“This is actually a privilege for our rural students. So YBs should start to encourage rural students to get good results in UPSR so that they can enter these schools,” he added.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg noted that currently, only the elites could afford to send their children to private international schools.
The planned residential schools will cater for precocious children of rural dwellers, where they can be groomed and benefit from the high standard study environment and education system. This is because Sarawak’s social policies must be fair to all, he added.
Abang Johari also suggested the need to set up private international schools in Bintulu, in particular Samalaju, amidst the pouring inflow of investment into the state. — DayakDaily