KUCHING, May 5 – The government remains committed to develop education in Sarawak using a two-pronged ‘dual dimension’ approach – infrastructure development and connectivity plus human capital. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said “If one of the two dimensions cannot be carried out, the development of education in Sarawak will not progress.”
The government has therefore started to redevelop depilated schools in the rural areas of Sarawak to provide a conducive environment for students said the Prime Minister after presenting tablets that are preloaded with Tutor software and Utusan Malaysia E-Paper for teachers, here today.
Also present were the Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak and Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid. Najib cited the redevelopment of Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Ladong into a modern building and equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, within seven weeks.
“I view the upgrading of schools as a necessity and one that must be carried out for the benefit of the people…not in words but through action. We are able to carry out such transformation based on the existing cordial partnership between the Federal government and state government,” he said.
“If the partnership did not exist, “there is no way we can carry out development programmes for education because it falls under the authority of the state and Federal government. When we work as a team through the existing partnership, all programmes can be carried out successfully,” he said.
Najib said all new ideas, planning and relationship between the Federal government and state government is important to strengthen the education sector in the country. The Prime Minister said the government’s target of filling 90 percent of the quota for teachers in Sarawak with home grown talent can be achieved by 2019 because currently 81 percent of the teachers in the state are Sarawakians.
Najib said by engaging teachers who are from Sarawak, a stable environment can be created among the teaching community in the state and resolve the issue of teachers seeking transfer to their own state (Sarawak). Speaking of the programme to issue tablets to teachers, Najib said although it is a “small revolution in education” it can hoist the education sector to a higher level.
The Prime Minister said for the purpose, 42,000 primary and secondary school teachers, officers from the state Education Department and District Education office in Sarawak will receive the tablets under the pilot project. He said the project would be expanded to other states in stages and expected to make a big impact.
He said he believe the teaching profession and learning process will reach another level because teachers will be able to be creative and innovative in their teaching methods. Meanwhile, Mahdzir said literacy among students in Sarawak has reached a very encouraging level with 97.2 percent proficiency in Bahasa Melayu and 97.2 percent in English, the highest in the country.