PETALING JAYA: Sarawak PKR vice-chairman See Chee How says the state administration must show its sincerity in ensuring the success of the initiative to improve the level of English among students there.
Noting the lack of details and guidelines with regards to the initiative, he said it was a challenge for all elected representatives to deliberate and come up with working plans or models to achieve this.
In a statement today, he said the state education, science and technological research ministry should set a deadline to assess the various pilot programmes implemented, with a resolution to implement the workable models in all schools in Sarawak.
“I am most concerned with the plea to ‘adopt a school’ as such a practice of preferential treatment shows partiality.
“It may lead to all other schools within the same constituency of the elected representatives feeling slighted,” he said.
“The ministry should clarify the duration of the pilot project and whether, in the event of the successful implementation of a pilot project, the ministry will fund and support the working plan for all the schools within the same constituency.”
The Batu Lintang assemblyman added that the ministry should provide special grants to all elected representatives, whether they are from BN or the opposition, to help fund and support the initiative.
He said each year, elected representatives from the opposition spent much of their allowance on educational assistance for schools in and outside their constituencies.
He added that this was done without the benefit of minor rural project grants.
“From the BN side, the fact that only the ministers and assistant ministers are making provisions for educational assistants is an indication that the BN backbenchers will require additional funds and grants to support this good initiative to improve the level of English proficiency among students in their respective constituencies.
“I therefore call upon the chief minister and his cabinet to set aside a special grant for this constructive initiative and to provide an equal amount of support for all the elected representatives to ensure they can implement their working plan in all the schools within their constituencies.”
As part of the initiative, Sarawak Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Michael Manyin Jawong said on May 21 that bilingual signboards in Bahasa Malaysia and English would be installed in all schools throughout the state.
According to a report in The Borneo Post, he said the move was to familiarise students and their parents with the English language.
On May 23, The Borneo Post reported that the initiative to prioritise English in the state had received the backing of the federal education ministry.
The report quoted Deputy Education Minister Chong Sin Woon as saying that the ministry was open to more discussions with the state government on the issue.