Hornbill Unleashed

September 7, 2017

Sarawak to start merging low enrollment schools next year, says minister

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

Manyin (left) says that conditions and low enrolment of schools affect the overall performance of students. — Picture by Sulok Tawie Sarawak will begin construction work for its merger of rural primary schools with low student numbers next year, state Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin said today.

“We want to start implementing the merger of schools in areas found to be acceptable,” he told reporters on the sidelines of his discussions with Sarawak assemblymen from the Barisan Nasional and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) here.

He said his discussions with the assemblymen will identify priority rural schools to be merged to allow better facilities to be provided and specialised teachers posted.

Manyin said officials from his ministry and the state Education Department will also explain to parents the necessity to merge low enrolment schools.

He said the data provided by the department reveal that 651 primary schools have fewer than 150 students while another 1,004 schools have below 300 students each.

He said based on studies and literature from education experts, such schools lacked a sense of competitiveness to drive students.

Manyin said the state government will also undertake to repair old school buildings or to replace critically dilapidated schools.

Out 2,454 primary and secondary schools in Sarawak, he said 1,020 were deemed to be in bad condition and another 415 were categorised as critically dilapidated.

“If we were to repair or replace all these schools, where do we get the money?” he asked, adding that the allocation of RM1 billion to repair old schools and build new schools is insufficient.

Manyin said the state government is concerned with the condition of schools and low enrolment in Sarawak, saying these were reflected in the performance of the state’s students in national assessments.

“Sarawak is ranked 13th in terms of the overall performance in public examinations in Malaysia, and we need to climb up to at least number five in future,” he said.

Manyin noted that students from the state did not fare well in the crucial subjects of Science, Mathematics and English.

“Our average performance in these subjects is about 23 per cent against the 60 per cent for the national average,” he said, adding that if the trend continued, Sarawak may not produce enough doctors, architects, engineers and accountants in future.

He said improving the conditions of schools and merging of schools were aimed at addressing the declining performance of the students, especially in critical subjects.

“Not only the conditions of the schools, but the sizes of the schools also matter,” he said.

Source : The Malay Mail Online by Sulok Tawie



1 Comment »

  1. Who wants to be a teacher when an ex teacher could live in big bungalow house and drives porsche after becoming a BN politician?

    Comment by Mat Som — September 8, 2017 @ 9:16 PM | Reply

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