CM: Sarawak to establish its own international schools

Posted on : 09 Mar 2019  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari takes questions from reporters. Directly behind him is Manyin. — Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING: Sarawak is set to have its own international schools, which would be fully funded by the Sarawak government.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, in stating this, said the syllabus would be an international one, with Bahasa Melayu as a single subject.

He said students with good grades would be given the opportunity to study in any of these international schools.

“It’s going to be a heavy investment on the part of the Sarawak government, but at the end of the day, we want to produce elite students – people who can pursue their studies in internationally-merited universities in Europe, the UK, the US, New Zealand or Australia.

“Because the internationally-merited universities have certain criteria for admission, if we have good students who could meet these requirements and if they could come back with new knowledge, (then) that would contribute to the development of Sarawak.

“Whether we like it or not, we have to leapfrog to (Industrial Revolution) 4.0. And this is the way to develop Sarawak because at the end of the day, Sarawak’s economy is integrated with new knowledge and is no longer isolated, which means that we need quality in human resources,” he said at the launch of Sin Chew Education Fair here yesterday.

When approached by reporters after the ceremony, Abang Johari said the Sarawak government had identified five sites – two in Kuching and one each in Sibu, Miri and Bintulu – for the proposed international schools.

According to him, these schools would be residential secondary schools for Form 1 to Form 5 students, adding that the model is similar to that of Mara Junior Science College (MRSM).

He said those with very good results or grades in Ujian Pencapaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) would be selected to study in these proposed international schools.

“The reason why we have to do this is because these international schools must also be within the reach of poor families (seeing that) international schools normally charge expensive fees.

“So the government will do these residential schools, giving opportunities to our young, talented and cream-of-the-crop students for (them to) have a very strong foundation to go to good universities,” he said.

In this regard, Abang Johari said Sarawak would be following the successful experience of Singapore.

However, he said it would take some time to get started in Sarawak.

In relation to this, he said Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin had just come back from Cambridge, the UK, and the Sarawak government would need to have the partnership first.

Abang Johari said the fees at Sarawak government’s international schools would be based on affordability, adding that the Sarawak government would also subsidise some of them.