SERIAN: Dayak Bidayuh National Association (DBNA) chief advisor Dato Sri Michael Manyin threw a challenge to the Bidayuh community to produce more graduates so as to be on par with the bigger ethnic groups.
He said Bidayuhs needed more graduates in either academic or skills training, while pointing out there was no reason not to meet the target since many Bidayuh villages now had electricity, water and good road linkage.
Citing his own village Kampung Pichin, he said the village while easily accessible by road only had 60 graduates but an Orang Ulu settlement he visited recently already had more than 140 graduates despite being reachable after nine hours’ drive on a timber track.
In order to encourage the younger generation to excel in their studies, he suggested that on Sunday nights to Thursday nights during school semesters, 7pm to 10pm be designated as ‘No TV time’ in Bidayuh households in the villages.
“I hope parents and grandparents can consider switching off their television sets from 7pm to 10pm on Sunday nights to Thursday nights, so that the children can focus on studying and homework. Sit near them so that the children feel motivated,” he said.
Manyin, who is also Tebedu assemblyman, mentioned these at the 7th anniversary dinner for Pertubuhan Penduduk Kampung Pichin at Dewan Chung Hua Serian here on Sunday night.
He revealed he had also spoken about the need to have more graduates during last Saturday’s Bidayuh Symposium attended by more than 1,000 participants at DBNA headquarters in Kuching, and he also advised them on the importance of unity of purpose.
Since Malaysia is expected to achieve developed and high-income status in the next six years, he said academic qualification was important to secure jobs and career promotion.
Meanwhile, the dinner that night was held amongst others to raise funds for Pertubuhan Penduduk Kampung Pichin, which actively organises social development activities in the village.
Organising chairman Raymond Achen Kambeng said the association promotes skills and knowledge acquisition among the youths with the aim of making youths from Pichin into resilient individuals who can compete globally.
The association organises motivation seminars for students and it also gives out education incentives to those who excel in UPSR, PMR, SPM and STPM examinations. It also provides welfare aid to bereaved families in the village, he added.
Amongst those present at the dinner were veteran politician Dato Sri Dominic Dago, a political secretary to the chief minister John David Nyauh, Serian district officer Sinde Muling and Serian District Council deputy chairman Dr Simon Sindang Bada.