Hornbill Unleashed

July 11, 2017

Manyin longs to see English spoken well

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

Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong believes the ‘adopt a school’ initiative can help the state get back the standard of English it once had.

Speaking at the commissioning of Catholic High School’s multi-purpose education building yesterday, he said the initiative would encourage students and teachers to communicate in English in school.

He was representing Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg to officiate at the function.

Manyin said: “We’ve been trying hard to get back the standard of English we had in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s because during my time, there was only English.

“That is why I’ve urged all YBs (state assemblypersons) to support this initiative as this is one of the ways which we can use to improve our standard of English.”

Noting the decline in English proficiency over the last few years, he said his ministry had written to all the elected representatives to adopt one or more schools in their constituencies to make sure that the students and the teachers will communicate in English in school.

He advised parents and teachers not to unduly correct the students’ English, but to keep encouraging them to speak the language.

“We are not speaking the Queen’s language. Whether the students are making mistakes or not, we just encourage them to speak,” he added.

Apart from that, he said he had directed the State Education Department director that all signage in schools, including the ‘Rukun Negara’, to be in both English and Bahasa Malaysia to enable students to automatically learn the language.

Besides that, the minister said he had also instructed the director to encourage school principals in primary and secondary schools to conduct their assemblies in English.

“It will start with ‘Salam Negaraku Malaysia’, ‘a very good morning,’ and ‘how are you today’ and the students must answer ‘fine, thank you, sir’.  We want to create that culture among all the schools in Sarawak,” he said.

He, however, said such initiative does not mean that the state is downgrading or neglecting Bahasa Malaysia, adding Bahasa Malaysia was introduced to create the Malaysian identity and to unite the various races in Malaysia.

“I think nobody questions that and I think the two objectives we had somehow achieved,” he pointed out.

Source : The Borneo Post Online by Jane Moh



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