KUCHING: The state government will consider applying for more cohort schools for the Penans in Sarawak if the concept is effec-tive.
Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Alfred Jabu said currently there was only one cohort school (Kohot 9) in the state, which is in Long Bedian, Baram.
Kohot 9 is where both primary and secondary schools (Year One to Form Three) are placed in the same school.
SK Long Bedian started operating as Sekolah K9 last year by offering Form One class to enable Penan, Kayan and Kenyah pupils to continue with their secondary education near their homes.
Jabu, who is Rural Development Minister, said the state government was concerned about problem faced by the Penans in the state.
He said most of the Penan pupils were reluctant to continue secondary school education because they were afraid to face the cultural and social differences in the suburban or urban areas.
He said to prevent dropouts among the Penans, the government had set up the Kohot 9 school in Long Bedian.
“We are now monitoring this school. If the concept proves to be effective in preven-ting Penan students from quitting, then we will try to apply for one or two more, maybe for the Penans in Murum,” he said at the closing of a farming course for young Penans from Murum resettlement scheme.
Meanwhile, the school in Long Bedian had benefited the Penan, Kenyah and Kayan communities in Long Latie, Long Beluk, Long Kerangan, Long Sayan, Long Win, Long Bangan, Long Dolah, Long Leng, Long Nen and Long Bedian.
Prior to this, they students had to continue lower secondary education at SMK Tutoh Apoh and SMK Long Lama.
The feeder schools for SK Long Bedian are SK Long Kevok, SK Long Pelutan, SK Long Luteng, SK Long Bedian, SK Long Bemang, SK Batu Bungan and SK Long Seridan.