KUCHING (May 24): The first Yayasan Sarawak International Secondary School has opened in Petra Jaya.
Education, Innovation and Talent Development Minister Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn said the school started last month with a pioneer group of 111 students.
“Of these, we have 80 boarders and 31 day grantees, and 60% of the students belong to the lower 40% (B40) household group, 30% to the middle 40% (M40) group and 10% to the of the top 20% (T20) earners,” he said in his ministerial closing address to the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) today.
Sagah said students must pass an entrance assessment test to qualify for placement and the state government has offered full scholarships to students in the B40 group.
He said students in the M40 and T20 groups pay a small monthly fee.
Sagah pointed out that the number of internships at the school was lower than the targeted 200 students, mainly due to the reluctance of parents, especially those in rural areas, to send their children to study in schools far from their homes.
Nonetheless, he said the state government is working to establish Yayasan Sarawak International Secondary Schools in Semenggoh, Sibu, Miri and Bintulu.
Separately, he said some 650 Primary 3 teachers will begin training for the Bilingual Program (DLP) for math and science on June 14.
He said the government will work with the Batu Lintang Teacher Training Institute and the Sarawak State Department of Education to implement the program, which was launched three years ago.
“Additionally, my ministry has also provided additional materials to support DLP Sarawak by producing guides for teachers and activity books for students. These materials have been delivered to all schools,” he said.
Sagah said the training previously covered all primary teachers teaching science and maths in English for Primary 1 and 2.
He pointed out that it was often a misconception that DLP involved teaching math and science in both Bahasa Malay and English, as English was the only language of instruction.
“While other subjects, such as history and geography, are taught in Bahasa Melayu,” he said.
Regarding the recruitment of international students to study in Sarawak, Sagah said the state government has engaged with the Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Home Affairs, Department of Immigration and Education Malaysia Global Services (EMGS) in March to streamline the entry process for international students. in the state.
“My ministry is embarking on a program to promote Sarawak as a regional center for higher education. It aims to emulate the success of ‘Study UK’ and ‘Study Melbourne’ in attracting students,” he said.
Sagah said the state’s “Study Sarawak” program will complement and enhance student services offered by educational institutions in Sarawak through digital marketing, data sharing, student events and promotions.
He added that there are currently 99 technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions across the state, 58 of which are public institutions.
On research and development, the minister said Sarawak had provided a research grant amounting to RM13.286 million for new and emerging research areas.
The council had granted RM500,000 for rabies diagnostic research, RM2.895 million for the 2021 SARS-COV2 serology study and RM800,000 for 2021 SBC-SRDC SARS Biotherapeutics.
Grants worth RM1.993 million were also awarded for thematic research programs, namely ‘Waging war on antimicrobial resistance’ and ‘Engkabang, the wonders of Sarawak’.
In spearheading Sarawak’s bioeconomy, Sagah said the Sarawak Bioindustrial Park project was launched to catalyze the state’s own bioindustry and will focus on bioactives, biohealth, biomaterials, bioenergy and biotechnology. bioenvironment.
A total of 26 of the 100 acres have been allocated for the center in the large Samarahan Industrial Zone, with earthworks due to start in July and construction due to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.
For the Sarawak Center for Infectious Diseases, the minister said earthworks are expected to start this month and construction will begin in 2023.
The master plan for the center, located next to the Sarawak Heart Center, is expected to be completed by September.