SIBU: Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg said he will continue with the policy of his predecessor in recognising Chinese education in the state.
He said he would continue recognising United Exam Certificate (UEC) and extension of financial assistance to Chinese independent schools, which was introduced by the late Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
“Apart from providing financial aid to independent schools, the government also recognises UEC, which can be used by graduates seeking government jobs, education loans and scholarships,” he said in a text read out by Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong at the opening of Catholic High School’s new educational block.
So far this year, Abang Johari had disbursed RM6mil to independent Chinese schools.
He said the state government recognised UEC because it wanted to retain young talents in Sarawak.
“Some Catholic High School graduates are working at the United Nations and NASA while others are scientists and global entrepreneurs,” he said.
Abang Johari said independent, Chinese or mission schools were playing their role to produce talented and knowledgeable workforce for the state.
On the government’s policy to adopt English language as Sarawak's second official language, he said it was part of effort to ensure that emphasis was given to both English and Bahasa Malaysia.
“This policy is not to downgrade Bahasa Malaysia but to ensure that Sarawakians can be proficient in both languages.
“We must emphasise the importance of English as the global language, the standard of which has been declining in the country over the past decades,” he said.
Catholic High School board of directors chairman Tan Sri Tiong Hiew King said with government funds, Chinese independent schools would be able to concentrate on improving the quality of its education system such as in teachers training.
“With these improvements, the schools will be able to produce graduates that can contribute to nation building and social and economic development.
“After years of struggling, we are now able to enjoy the fruits of our labour and look forward to a bright future.
“We owe our thanks to the support and wisdom from our government,” he said in a text read out by Dudong assemblyman Datuk Tiong Thai King. — By ANDY CHUA