Sarawak govt spent RM18m to improve English proficiency among primary school students, says local minister

State Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin speaking to reporters in Kuching July 2, 2019. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
State Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin speaking to reporters in Kuching July 2, 2019. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 3 — Concerned about English language proficiency in the state, the Sarawak government implemented teaching and learning of Science and Mathematics in 1,048 primary schools starting 2020.

“The Sarawak government through Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research (MESTR) has invested over RM18 million to support the implementation of ‘Teaching Science and Maths in English’ in the state.

“This included printing of Primary 1 and 2 new textbooks and student workbooks, providing Teacher Guide Books for Science and Mathematics subjects and other teaching resources such as National Geographic Learning classroom sets to assist teachers in lessons and student-centric activities focusing on Science, Maths and English,” said Education, Science and Technological Research Minister, Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong in his welcoming address at Sarawak English Language Education Symposium (Seles) 2021 via Zoom.

Manyin represented Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg at the symposium held in a hybrid mode here yesterday.

The fifth edition of Seles from Dec 1 to 3 themed ‘Literacy in Diversity’ has a total of 180 participants with each of the 30 District Education Offices sending six teachers.

Manyin revealed that another initiative by Sarawak government is the provision of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) to all teachers teaching Science and Mathematics including non-option teachers.

“So far, more than 8,000 Science and Mathematics teachers have attended CPD programmes since 2019,” he informed.

He stated that continuous professional development of teachers are important to ensure quality education for our students and the theme signifies the diversity of English Language which can be learnt by anyone regardless of cultural and ethnic background.

He pointed out that the pandemic has forced teaching and learning online and offline to ensure uninterrupted lessons. Teachers are challenged to be creative and innovative with relevant teaching approaches to engage students in interesting lessons.

“It is hoped that all our children would be able to read, write and communicate in English in formal and informal situations. English language as the lingua franca is also a tool that connects people of different backgrounds,” Manyin stressed. — Borneo Post

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