KUCHING: Few students in Sarawak are speaking English outside the classroom.
State Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department Datin Fatimah Abdullah said most students only spoke the language during the limited English periods.
“We still have a long way to go to have a good standard of English especially in rural schools.
"The attitude of students that English is a difficult subject contributes to the situation we are now facing,” she said when launching a junior journalist programme at the state library here on Thursday.
Fatimah, a former teacher, said there were few English reading materials available in most school libraries.
She said as newspapers were the most popular reading material among the people, they could help to improve the English proficiency amongst students.
“I read with envy about NIE (Newspaper in Education) programmes in school in the peninsula because I know it is a very effective way of improving students' proficiency in English, besides being a fun way of learning,” she added.