‘Satisfactory English proficiency among Orang Asli pupils’

Getting friendly: Fadhlina (second from left) meeting with Orang Asli pupils at SK Kuala Betis in Gua Musang. — Bernama

GUA MUSANG: English proficiency among pupils, including the Orang Asli, is at a satisfactory level, and will be further improved through digital reading materials, says Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek.

The Enhancing Reading Through Digital Text (ERDT) materials under the Literacy For Orang Asli and Native Students programme, will further strengthen their English proficiency, she said.

“The policy of upholding Bahasa Melayu and strengthening English proficiency is carried out in tandem, to ensure that pupils are able to use both languages well, including in the context of using English as a second language in their studies,” she said after launching the ERDT at the SK Kuala Betis here yesterday.

Fadhlina said teaching and learning materials, in collaboration with several partners, would be fully used to strengthen the English language among Orang Asli children, according to their respective tribes.

“The technology used in ERDT is able to detect dropouts among students, using innovative methods.

“This innovation is important in ensuring that no child is marginalised in mastering the English language since attention will be fully focused on their ability to familiarise themselves with the technology,” she said, Bernama reported.

The ministry has several segments of Temiar, Bateq and other tribes in the programme, which would strengthen their mastery of the English language, without marginalising their heritage, culture and ecosystem.

Fadhlina said the expansion of ERDT would be implemented at the ministry level, according to schools based on the institution’s demographics.

Commenting on whether Orang Asli pupils should join vocational colleges to further their education, the Education minister said these colleges would welcome students from the community.

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