KUCHING: The first state-owned international secondary school in Sarawak is expected to be operational by 2021.
State Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin said construction of the school at the 12th Mile Kuching-Serian Road would start next year, while four others would be built in Miri, Bintulu, Sibu and Kota Samarahan.
"We will build five more schools, more or less at the same time, but we don't want to start operating all five at the same time because it will cost more money.
"The first school (to start operating) will be at the 12th Mile. We hope to start construction next year and the first intake of students will be in 2021 hopefully.
"The total construction cost, including equipment, is estimated to be about RM60mil per school. We will build the schools using funds from the 12th Malaysia Plan budget," he told reporters after a memorandum signing and exchange ceremony between the Sarawak Research and Development Council and two institutions here on Friday (Dec 6).
The schools were announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg earlier this year and are meant to groom top students, especially those from lower-income rural families, for universities abroad.
Manyin said each school would accommodate about 100 students, with priority given to rural students in the selection criteria.
"The selection will be done together with the headmasters of primary schools. Basically (the international schools) are to cater to rural students who are bright," he said.
Manyin also said the state government was in the process of applying for licences for the schools and had set up Sanjung Sdn Bhd, fully owned by Yayasan Sarawak, for the purpose.
"The requirement is that the company must have an initial capital of RM1mil. Now we need to appoint a chief executive officer and the five sites must be transferred to the company.
"We are in the process of doing that," he said, adding that all five sites had been approved by the state Cabinet and Planning Authority.
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