KUCHING: Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin wants to see Sarawak make it to the top 10 as far as school performance is concerned.
According to him, the academic performance of Sarawak at primary and secondary level “has been second or third from the bottom for many, many years”.
“We do not want to be placed at 15th or 14th out of 16 states in Malaysia. Hopefully in the near future, we can go up to number eight, seven or five,” he said when representing Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at the launch of Tunku Putra-HELP International School at the Waterfront Hotel here yesterday.
Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud launched the new private school, which is expected to have its first intake in January 2020.
Manyin pointed out that Sarawak needed to put quality education in place in order to achieve the top 10 target.
He said quality education will play a role to prepare young Sarawakians for the future especially in the digital era.
“What we need is quality education and we have to make sure that our young boys and girls will be ready to compete in the digital era.”
He believed that the new private school would offer an alternative for parents and students while hoping that Sarawak would see more affluent parents who can afford private education.
Meanwhile, Abang Johari in his text of speech read by Manyin said: “Today, education goes far beyond the normal textbooks. The new teaching and learning strategies include collaborative, experiential, project-based, problem-based and enquiry-based learning.
“These strategies foster 21st century skills such as creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, leadership and self-motivated learning.
“Students should be encouraged to take ownership of their own learning while teachers empower, provide guidance and help them to develop their full potential in all areas of life,” said Abang Johari.
The Chief Minister stressed that teachers should adopt digital technology to facilitate learning and students ought to do their own studies and research through countless educational portals.
He said these approaches would help produce tech-savvy Sarawakians as the state pursues its digital economy agenda.
“On a softer but no less important note is the lesson of mutual respect among race and religion that educators are tasked to instil in the minds of the young.
“It must be engrained in the day-to-day education at school that for our multi-racial society and country to thrive, we must go beyond mere tolerance and strive to inculcate mutual respect,” added Abang Johari.