Youth and Sports and Solidarity Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong acknowledges that the current education policy is to be blamed for lack of English proficiency among local graduates.
Many new graduates are weak in English and this hampered their chances to land jobs, he said in concurring with Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem on the issue.
As such, he was not surprised that Adenan had used a strong word – ‘stupid’, at a function last week to term the turn in education policy some 30 years ago which neglected English and over emphasised on Bahasa Malaysia.
“There are many who graduated from local universities with first degrees, some with Master’s degrees, some with PhD, but they are not fluent in English. They could not converse well in English and write properly in English. But we do not blame them, we blame the system instead.
“That is why the Sarawak state government under the leadership of Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem is now aiming to bring back the importance of English in our schools,” he said when closing an Education Transformation Programme at SMK Tebakang near here yesterday.
The programme, organised as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) project by Batu Lintang Teachers Institute, was held from Oct 4 until yesterday comprising motivation and workshops to prepare Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) candidates for the examination which is just around the corner.
Manyin, who is also Tebedu assemblyman, called on these students to achieve excellent results while at the same time improve their English proficiency.
He said even if the student were to score a lot of A grades, he or she could not go far after leaving schools if they lack command of English.
“Therefore, I hope the students would take the initiative to master English. Start talking with each other in English. You may not be speaking perfect English because this is not your mother’s tongue but you will eventually improve. Teachers and parents can help too,” he said.
On the Education Transformation Programme, he said this would continue to be held next year or following years in order to elevate the academic performance in Serian district.
He said he had allocated RM200,000 for the programme this year, and he pledged to give the same amount for 2017.
Meanwhile, Batu Lintang Teachers Institute director Bedui Une said elected representatives from Serian deserved to be praised for their commitment to improve academic performance in schools in the district.
He advised the students to always think outside the box, and move away from traditional ways of thinking, in order to excel in life.
Source : The Borneo Post Online