BINTULU: Education is a catalyst for change and the game changer for rural development, says Minister of Utilities Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi.
He said all parties, including teachers, parents, and local grassroots leaders have to play their roles in ensuring the young generation receive quality education.
“The (state) Education Ministry was set up to help us to facilitate, build and improve school facilities,” said the Kemena assemblyman after presenting RM394,350 in minor rural project (MRP) grants, to 25 recipients at Bintulu Resident’s Office yesterday.
According to Dr Rundi, there were many factors that contribute to the underperformance of students in Sarawak especially in the rural areas. One factor, he explained, was that rural communities place less importance on education, while the other was poor school facilities.
He also called on parent-teacher associations (PTAs) to play a more significant role in coming up with their own initiatives to help the students as there are many areas in which PTAs can contribute.
At the same time, he said grassroots leaders in longhouses must be proactive and create greater awareness among their communities on the importance of education.
“While looking for wealth, please give priority to our children’s education,” he reiterated.
In the meantime, Dr Rundi urged longhouse chiefs to continue upgrading themselves with relevant knowledge and skills to be competent in managing their longhouses.
“We have to be ready for development and the only way is through knowledge and education.”