Hornbill Unleashed

May 21, 2017

Towards English proficiency

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Sarawak will see its first reform in education with a shift in policy to promote greater usage of English in schools.

Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong announced yesterday bi-lingual signboards in Bahasa Malaysia and English, including English translation of the Rukun Negara, will be installed in all schools throughout Sarawak.

Manyin, who was appointed to the post two weeks ago, said the move was to familiarise students and even their parents with the English language, so that they would be more interested to learn and eventually master this global lingua franca.

As a start, he said the bi-lingual signboards would be installed in three schools in Serian Division namely SMK Taee, SMK Tebakang and SMK Tebedu next month before moving to other schools across the state.

“I want the signboards in these schools to be dual-language, starting next month. I’m going to inspect the signboards by August.

“Later on, I will give similar directive to all schools in Sarawak. I will tell this to the Director of Education,” he said when launching the 2017 Education Transformation Programme at SMK Taee near here yesterday.

Manyin, who is Sarawak’s first minister in charge of education, said enhancing English standard in Sarawak schools is a priority in addition to improving infrastructure in schools and creation of centralised schools to replace Sekolah Kurang Murid (SKM) or low enrolment schools.

He noted that due to their poor command of spoken and written English, many rural students graduating from public universities remained jobless as they could not land jobs in the private sector after failing to be recruited by the civil service.

“The standard of English in Sarawak is now declining particularly among those coming from rural schools unlike in urban areas where the families speak English at home or having their children sent to English tuition classes. Those from rural areas cannot compete with others when their command in English is poor.

“That is why my next priority will be on how to improve English proficiency among our students,” he said.

He singled out two primary schools in Limbang where English is spoken among teachers and pupils while still adhering to the national syllabus in the classroom, and he hoped to get more schools to do the same starting with schools in Tebedu state constituency where he is the elected representative.

On the Education Transformation Programme which he launched yesterday, he said the programme was organised for the third consecutive year in collaboration with Batu Lintang Teachers Training Institute (IPG Batu Lintang) to improve performance of Serian Division schools in public examinations.

He pledged to again allocate RM100,000 to IPG Batu Lintang to hold this year’s programme which involves SMK Taee, SMK Tebakang and SMK Tebedu.

Manyin’s appointment hailed by IPG director, UPP

IPG Batu Lintang director Bedui Une said the appointment of Manyin as the state’s first education minister was manifestation of the state government’s desire to transform the state’s economy through education.

He said Manyin, being a former teacher, was familiar with problems faced in schools and expressed confidence that Manyin would have the solutions that can spur Sarawak to move forward in its academic achievement.

Bedui, who will be retiring from the service soon, believed things will improve under Manyin.

Others present were a political secretary to the chief minister John David Nyauh, Serian Resident Jonathan Lugoh, Serian district education officer Yunus Apok and school principals and headmasters.

Meanwhile, UPP gives its total support to the move by Manyin to install bi-lingual signboards in Bahasa Malaysia and English in all schools in Sarawak. UPP secretary-general George Lo said it is a good and timely move in order to arrest the decline in the command of English language amongst students in the state.

“This initiative by Manyin shows that the Chief Minister made the right choice in picking him as the first Minister of Education for Sarawak.

“In fact, the Chief Minister’s decision to create an Education Ministry in Sarawak is a stroke of genius. We now have a minister who will be fully focused on education in Sarawak. No one can deny that education is arguably the most important responsibility for any government,” he said yesterday.

He further said former Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem started the ball rolling by making English the second official language in Sarawak.

“Datuk Amar Abang Johari has carried that momentum forward with the creation of the Education Ministry which will ensure that future generations of Sarawakians will have a good command of the language that is needed for success on a global scale,” he added.


Source :  @ The Borneo Post Online by Samuel Aubrey


 

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