KUCHING: SUPP fully support the call by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department call for English medium schools to be set up.

According to SUPP’s Assistant Treasurer, Robert Lau Hui Yew the importance of English is indisputable as it is  the global language and the language of trade and commerce worldwide. 

“English also dominates the digital world. The digital age is accelerating the pace of change and development. It is also dividing the world at an even faster pace by those who can gain access and use the knowledge in the digital world. Without a sound foundation in English, this new world is shut to them. We are depriving our next generation and our country a better future if we continue to ignore this fact,” he said in a statement.

Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan had recently called for the reintroduction of English medium schools in order to improve the language proficiency and employability among graduates.

Abdul Rahman urged the people of Sabah and Sarawak to tell their elected representatives that they support such calls.

Sarawak has consistently been calling for the return of English medium schools to Sarawak.

The late  Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem had made such calls.

Chief Minister, Datuk Amar Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari  Tun Abang Haji Openg, again echoes this stand.

In order to speed up the implementation of this policy, he said,  SUPP proposes that the authority over and funding for education be devolved from Putrajaya to Sabah and Sarawak.

“Let the two states handle their own education policies. This, after all, was what was provided in the Malaysia Agreement 1963. Let the people of Sarawak and Sabah administer matter related to education. Rural schools are worst affected by the concentration of power in the national capital,” he emphasized.

According to Robert Lau,  many of the rural schools are run down, teachers struggling to get the needed support from Putrajaya.

“There are schools where classrooms are still wooden shed built during the colonial times; schools without consistent electricity supply; no internet access and no photocopy machines, just to name some of the problems faced by these schools. The size of the two states is huge and administrative and management decisions cannot be effectively made on their behalf far away,” he said.

The other benefit of using English in schools, he said, was to  fosters integration among people of different background.

“The mushrooming of private schools and international private schools in Sarawak over the last decade was because of they use English as the medium of instructions. This has brought back much integration in classrooms in these private schools. Unfortunately, these schools are only available to those who can afford the fees and the urban folks. The general public, especially the poor and the rural children are left out. This is leading to a social divide among the those have get better opportunities through better command of English and those who are not,” he explained. – Sarawakvoice