KUCHING: Sarawak Information Systems (SAINS) will be roped in to assist the state government in building interest in technical education in rural areas.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud said being in the forefront of ICT, the agency would definitely play a vital role in helping disseminate information about the state’s agenda and vision, particularly with regard to its human capital needs.
“We are awaiting the proposal from SAINS in hastening the pace for our preparation to encourage technical education among our people,” he said at the presentation of the Sarawak Chief Minister’s ICT Media Awards ceremony at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly Complex yesterday.
However, he said there was still misperception over the reputation of technical education in the state.
“I am afraid that some people think technical education is too complicated but at the same time, there are those who are good academically who think that it is below them.
“So we need to find some ways on how to popularise technical education because the fate of our country rests in further industrialisation,” he explained, adding that by 2030, Sarawak would need to build up one-third of its technical workers.
Taib said the state had more or less strengthened its ICT coverage but it was now facing the challenge of making sure that the people use this technology in a positive way.
He said youngsters had taken to ICT very well and easily but whether they were improving their learning capabilities, was questionable.
He said the problem here was
no longer on the distribution of
network but on what they were absorbing from the borderless technology.
Therefore, he hoped parents would be more watchful of their children using the Internet.
On SAINS, Taib said it had come a long way, expanding its services and activities even outside of Sarawak.
He attributed the agency’s achievements to former deputy chief minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan, who is SAINS chairman.
Earlier, SAINS chief executive officer Datuk Teo Tien Hiong said the award was an idea linked to the whole strategy to enhance ICT implementation in the state, with the agency and other ICT departments being mechanisms set up in view of this.
“While we have done so much in Sarawak, we are also mindful that the people need to be informed with what the state government is doing.”
This year’s competition, which saw 18 entries from several media organisations, aimed at encouraging in-depth reporting on ICT matters from journalists and writers from Sarawak on related topics, promoting the usage of ICT and bringing awareness of its importance among the people for the socioeconomic development of the state.
Judges comprised appointed officers from SAINS, ICT Unit, Angkatan Zaman Mansang, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak and Information Department.
In past years, only one winner was chosen for each category.
However due to increasing interest, it has been decided that there will be three winners for each category namely Bahasa Malaysia, English and Chinese.