Sarawak schools to use English

Expanding the scope: Dr Annuar arriving at the Sarawak Legislative Assembly complex. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KUCHING: The use of English as a medium of instruction will be extended to secondary schools in Sarawak, says a state deputy minister.

State Deputy Education, Innovation and Talent Development Minister Datuk Dr Annuar Rapaee said this was one of several key points agreed to by the federal Education Ministry on the devolution of power in education to Sarawak.

“We are allowed to extend the use of English as a medium of instruction, not only in primary schools but also in secondary schools in Additional Mathematics, Biology, Physics and Chemistry,” he said at the Sarawak state assembly sitting during Question Time here yesterday.

English is currently used to teach Science and Mathematics in primary schools under Sarawak’s dual language programme (DLP).

Dr Annuar said another major achievement was the delegation of authority to the state education director to approve school development projects funded by the Sarawak government or other parties.

“In other words, the approval does not have to go through Putrajaya anymore.

“This will improve the process and facilitate the implementation of the projects, as previously, many rural transformation projects and minor rural projects slowed down because of bureaucracy,” he said.

In addition, Dr Annuar said the state government was allowed to participate in school project planning and conduct assessments for DLP classes.

“More important is allowing the state government to access data within the Education Ministry.

“This is crucial for us to implement data-driven projects so that they will be more successful,” he said.

Dr Annuar also said the state and federal education ministries were looking into incorporating the agreed points into regulations or amendments to the relevant statutes to ensure adherence and continuity.

“Every time there is a change in the (education) minister or the government, there will be a change in policy.

“With regard to MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963), we don’t want this to happen.

“For matters beyond the purview of the Education Ministry, we will bring them up to higher authorities for their consideration,” he said.

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