State government decides to tackle people’s falling standards from primary school level

Sagah (seated, center), Kemeri (seated, second from left) and others with participants.

MIRI (October 18): The Ministry of Education, Innovation and Talent Development (MEITD) aims to improve the English proficiency of teachers and students through a variety of teaching settings or settings.

Sarawak Minister Datuk Roland Sagarwi said this is because the state government is very concerned about the declining English proficiency of Sarawakians.

“English as a language of international communication is also a language of science and technology, especially in fields such as computer science, and biological sciences such as genetics and medicine.

“If you want to learn or read a new technology, most likely you need to do it in English. By mastering English, our children will be able to easily acquire any latest knowledge and new technology,” he announced at the Mega Hotel yesterday at the Sarawak English 2022 Education Symposium (Seles).

Also present were MEITD Permanent Secretary Datu Kemeri Affandi, Sarawak Board of Education Deputy Director (Learning Sector) Dr Les Met, Miri District Education Office Deputy Director (Learning Sector) Wong Kung Kui and British Council Representative Kate Chodzko.

Sagah said one of the state government’s efforts to improve people’s English was to implement English language teaching for science and maths in primary schools.

He informed that Sarawak will start teaching science and mathematics in English in 2020, starting from Primary 1 in all 1,048 public primary schools.

Apart from this, the state government, through MEITD, has invested more than RM18 million to support the teaching of science and mathematics in English, he added.

He further said that the grant covers the cost of printing new textbooks and student workbooks for Primary 1, 2 and 3; providing teachers’ guides for science and maths and additional teaching resources such as National Geographic Learning Classrooms; and organising at school level Student-centred activities with an emphasis on science, math and English.

In addition to this, he said the state government has also implemented initiatives to provide continuing professional development (CPD) for all teachers teaching science and mathematics, including non-select teachers.

Since 2019, more than 8,000 science and math teachers have participated in the CPD program so far, Sagah said.

“To ensure a quality education for our students, the role of teachers who are proficient in English is important. Continuing professional development (CPD) through skill-enhancing programmes including Seles is therefore necessary.”

A total of 120 teachers from northern Sarawak participated in Seles 2022 under the theme “Beyond Recovery to Opportunity”.

Participants represented eight Education District Offices (PPDs) – PPD Bintulu, PPD Miri, PPD Baram, PPD Lawas, PPD Tatau/Sebauh, PPD Subis, PPD Belaga and PPD Limbang.

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