Saturday, January 22

Classes for indigenous adults reduce school absenteeism – CM

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KOTA KINABALU: Classes for indigenous adults (KEDAP) organised by the State Education Department has succeeded in reducing absenteeism of students in school.

According to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Shafie Haji Apdal, the KEDAP programme is unique because it has achieved its objective to raise the presence of parents and their children at school.

“This will eventually increase enrolment of students at schools in Sabah, all of which will help to raise the quality of education in Sabah,” he said.

Shafie, represented by Assistant Education and Innovation Minister Mohammad Mohamarin at the presentation of certificates to parents for completing the KEDAP programme yesterday, said that a total of 324 adults signed up for the programme which began in April this year and ends in November.

The programme is conducted at 12 schools in Kudat, Telupid, Sandakan, Ranau, Pitas, Tenom, Keningau, Kota Belud and Semporna. The oldest participant of was a 71-year-old from Libaran, Sandakan.

Shafie urged parents partaking in the programme to be concerted in their effort to improve the prestige and quality of education in Sabah.

“We must be quick so that we remain at par with others … everyone should have access to quality education,” he stressed.

He also said that education is the main indicator of changes in the people’s social mobility.

“Only through excellence in education can our children continue to a higher level and subsequently contribute to the development of Sabah in the future,” he said.

Shafie also took cognizance of the fact that the government is aware of the various challenges and barriers facing the education sector in Sabah.

“It is not just our demography which is vast and difficult, particularly in our interior and islands, but also the lack of other amenities. Nevertheless, we cannot allow these to become barriers that stop us from reaching excellence in our education standard,” he said.

He gave assurance of the government’s continued commitment to help improve the amenities and access to quality education in Sabah.

The aim of the KEDAP programme is to raise the rate of literacy among the indigenous people and adults, which is in line with the aspirations of UNESCO through its Education for All programme or EFA. Additionally, the programme also aims to increase the awareness concerning the importance of education amongst the natives and interior folks of Sabah and Sarawak.

Present at the event was Sabah Education director Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul.