SIBU: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin gave an assurance that education infrastructure would be enhanced in rural areas on par with the nationwide upgrade.
Muhyiddin, who is Education Minister, said in Sarawak's context, the improvements will be done in phases and include school buildings, teachers' quarters and equipment, which will once and for all refute claims of discrimination against rural education infrastructure.
"We will do all this and are committed to the matter," he said during a 1Malaysia Young Teachers programme at SMK Sacred Heart on Tuesday.
He added that the improvements for the interior areas could not be rushed due to the vastness of Sarawak and should be carried out systematically.
He said the federal government's commitment towards rural education was proven by the Sabah and Sarawak interior school transformation plan.
The Education Ministry will, from this year onwards, implement initiatives in line with the Malaysian Education Development Plan, including evaluating 70,000 English language option teachers through the Cambridge Placement Test (CPT), with those not achieving the required level being given additional part-time training, he added.
Commenting on Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud's proposal for additional vocational schools in the state, Muhyiddin said the ministry was prepared to consider the matter.
Taib had earlier proposed that vocational schools offering certificate levels be increased in Sarawak, with subjects based on the existing heavy industries in the state.