KOTA BELUD, Apr 22 – Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan has proposed that English-medium government schools in Sabah be re-established in an effort to improve the English language proficiency of students in the state. He said the re-establishment of English-medium government schools in the state was seen as a proactive measure to produce more human capital having mastered the universal language from an early age.
“Mastery of English is one way to (human capital) be more productive and competitive. By mastering the language, Sabah will be able to ‘speed up’ pursuit of reducing the development gap between the state and those states in the peninsula. For that reason, I propose that the Sabah Government allow the re-establishment of English-medium government schools so that we can give an advantage to the children of Sabah to master the language and compete in the job market and boost domestic ability,” he said.
Abdul Rahman, who is also Kota Belud MP said this to Bernama after the launch of the Highly Immersive Programme (HIP) at Sekolah Kebangsaan Tempasuk 1 here today. For a start, Abdul Rahman proposed the education ministry implement a pilot project in some primary and selected secondary schools in urban areas, including Sabah College which had the potential and were willing to make English the language of instruction in teaching and learning.
This is to enable the ministry to look at the effectiveness and acceptance of the Sabah people to the project before its implementation is extended to semi-urban and rural areas. “I’m quite confident that the schools selected will be able to compete and perform well, thereby producing progressive-minded and competitive students,” he said.
According to him, English medium government schools were in Sabah before, but were discontinued after the state government at that time decided to follow the national educational policy. However, Abdul Rahman said the education ministry should look into the matter by considering the proposal in the interest of the people of Sabah who realise proficiency in English must be reinforced to progress further in various fields and keep pace with the rapid development of the country.