Sarawak govt seeks federal funding for start of English in Maths and Science next year

Sarawak Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jaong said substantial funds is needed for the programme’s success.— Picture by Sulok Tawie
Sarawak Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jaong said substantial funds is needed for the programme’s success.— Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, May 8 — The Sarawak government hopes to receive federal funding when primary schools statewide begin teaching Mathematics and Science in English starting January 2020.

Sarawak Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jaong said substantial funds is needed for the programme’s success.

“To carry out all these will require a substantial amount of funding. For that, we will work together with the federal Ministry of Education to get the funds,” he said in his wind-up speech a the state legislative assembly today.

He urged state lawmakers to convince their constituents to support the initiative to improve local proficiency in English, noting that the standard in Sarawak has declined over the years.

“Practical approaches are pertinent to ensure effective implementation by all parties involved,” he said.

Manyin said the English in Maths and Science programme will be rolled out in stages. In order to be more efficient, the first stage next year will involve only 30 per cent of local primary schools.

He said the state has held a Sarawak English language education symposium and various activities to enhance the performance in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

However, he said the state government and Education Department have to resolve many challenges first.

“This includes the training of teachers, the production of resource materials, and the decision on the assessment and examination format that will be used.

“These are not easy tasks as they require the acceptance of the parents, the readiness of the teachers, and the support of all parties concerned, especially the Ministry of Education,” he said.

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