KUCHING, Nov 2 — The Sarawak state government is planning to build five residential international schools in the state to nurture bright local students, particularly those in rural areas for elite universities abroad.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the schools will also get them accustomed to the international curriculum.
“So we bring the children of farmers (and) fisherman, they are sent to these residential international schools. However, the state government is not competing with the private sector,” he said.
“We are just giving a venue for smart kids, particularly in the rural areas, to study where the curriculum is international. At the end of the day, you will have (students) who are smart, (and) have the opportunity to study further,” he said.
He said this in his speech before witnessing the agreement signing ceremony between Saradise Sdn Bhd and Borneo International School for the latter’s new campus to be build at Saradise, a new township, here.
Saradise Sdn Bhd was represented by its group chief executive officer Datuk Chris Chung Soon Nam while Borneo International School by chairman of its board of governors, Tan Seng Kee.
Lauding the efforts by both entities in setting up the campus, Abang Johari called upon more private companies to follow suit to cater to the need for such education in the state, particularly from expatriates.
Apart from the international schools, Abang Johari also disclosed that there was a proposal to expand the Borneo Medical Centre and another hospital in the state.
Talking to the media after the event, he said two hospitals of international standard were also interested to set up premises in the state.
He hoped that the setting-up of these international schools and hospitals would create a ‘basic ecosystem’ to encourage more people and expatriates to settle in the state, subsequently boosting the state economy.
The Borneo International School’s new campus with 15,000 square metres of build-up space will offer a range of facilities including a multipurpose indoor sports hall, state-of-the-art classrooms, performing arts and drama studios, a six-lane 25-metre swimming pool, and an outdoor football field.
The campus will be able to accommodate 1,200 primary and secondary school students, and is expected to be operational in 2023. — Bernama