Monday, August 15, 2022

Put aside political differences for our children, opposition told

Secara Rawak

WE must put aside political differences for the sake of our children, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to the opposition when delivering his ministerial winding up speech at the august House yesterday.

“When it comes to education, let us sit together and resolve it. If we face obstacles under the law, we must find solution to it and if necessary, we change the provisions under the law,” he stressed.

According to Abang Johari, the continuous demand for workers with technical skills in Sarawak is an opportunity for the youth to prepare themselves with knowledge and skills to meet this demand.

“However, we would not be able to achieve this objective when looking at the current poor condition of our schools especially in the rural areas. Some are without electricity and treated water supplies. With these constraints and challenges, we cannot expect our students to achieve good results, particularly in rural areas.

“We (state government) are very serious to resolve the pressing problem of dilapidated schools in the state. I just want Sarawakians to be educated. Money is not an issue. The state government is willing to give loan to the federal government on this matter, although we know it is their responsibility,” he emphasised.

Abang Johari added that educated, skilled and motivated workforce is needed to drive the state’s development forward. This explains the state government’s effort in placing human capital development as one of the most important components in the state’s development planning.

“We want our children especially in the rural areas to have access to good education and study in conducive learning environment with good schools, equipped with all the necessary facilities including high speed broadband.

“We want to prepare them as the highly knowledgeable and competent workforce to support the state’s digital development initiatives or employment in other highly-skilled related industries.

“Therefore, we are putting in concerted efforts to enrol more of our students into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Technical Vocational Educational and Training (TVET). It is expected that majority of jobs created in the digital economy will require knowledge and skills in STEM as well as TVET,” he said.

In addition, the state government is offering scholarships to high achievers and deserving students especially those from the low-income families and from the rural areas to pursue their studies in selected courses both at local and foreign universities.

At the same time, the state government is providing endowment fund of RM1,000 for every new born Sarawakian babies starting this year to assist parents in reducing their burden in bringing up the child for education.

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