Sunday, July 21

BAT finds remote school students’ mastery of English intriguing


LIMBANG: One of the most intriguing facts about the students studying in the country’s model school of SK Ulu Lubai is that they have adopted the English language very well.

Calvin Roger Jopu

Naja Lovita Panggau

They can read, write and communicate with one another, with their teachers and even their parents in English.

In fact, over the years it has become their school’s culture that everybody speaks the language even though they are equally good in Malay and their mother tongue.

Twelve-year-old Calvin Roger Jopu told The Borneo Adventure Team (BAT) that if ever he goes to England to work he would like to teach the English people to speak their own language.

“I want to take the challenge to teach in the country where the language originates,” he said smilingly.

The primary six student was very confident when interviewed by BAT as he did not even quiver when answering all the simple questions in English.

Calvin said he is very proud that he speaks the language and hopes to study in Sekolah Menengah Sains Labuan after completing his primary education here.

The boy who wakes up punctually at 5am every day finds that the school has many books and magazines to read and he likes to read English magazines and novels.

For a boy of his age and living in the heart of Borneo where not many can match his abilities, Calvin is very mature for his age and optimistic about what he wants to do.

The boy who likes to watch Spanish football and news instead of cartoons may have a long way to go but for now he just looks forward to do well in his studies, especially the UPSR exams.

BAT also got acquainted with Naja Lovita Panggau, who said she wants to be a teacher when she grows up.

“I don’t want to dream big yet but I just want to study and speak English all the time,” she said with a confident smile.

Naja said she speaks English to her parents every day, who she said can also speak the language.

Like Calvin, Naja is very confident although she confessed to BAT that she is just like any other 12-year-old girl and has a doll named Bibi.

She told BAT that the doll was handmade by her mother and stuffed with sponge and not custom-made like the ones sold in town.

For Naja and Calvin, although they may have the same ambitions, they sure make their teachers very proud.

They all hope to be the ‘Shinning Stars’ of SK Ulu Lubai and make the state and country proud of what they can do and become.