Sarawak has requested the federal government to approve more private English-stream schools in the state to improve the level of proficiency of the language among students.
Chief Minister Adenan Satem said the state government had pledged its support to establish more of these schools, which focused on teaching and learning in English.
Adenan said the state had autonomy over education and should be given the freedom to decide its own policy to suit its needs.
He said the state government wanted more English-stream schools as the command of English among students in the state was poor.
He expressed the fear that more than 20,000 fresh graduates from Sarawak would have difficulty getting employed due to their inability to master the English language.
“Be more practical, like Singapore and other states; we are not too late,” he said, adding that Sarawak did not want fresh graduates to be “unemployed and unemployable” due to their handicap in English.
On education facilities, he said, the Education Ministry must focus on upgrading dilapidated schools in Sarawak as some of these schools were in danger of being swept away by rivers due to constant erosion while others still did not have adequate supply of electricity or water.
A total of 80 contingents took part in the parade, including from government departments, uniformed bodies and NGOs.