KUCHING (Dec 20): Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) is calling for more schools to be built in Bintulu to meet the increasing demand in the state’s central region.
Its incoming president Adam Parkash Abdullah said the population in Bintulu had seen a rapid growth and teachers in the region had reported the problem of crowded classrooms.
“Classrooms are crowded especially now with the standard operating procedures (SOP) and physical distancing (to curb the spread of Covid-19), with only 30 students permitted in one class.
“We urge the authorities to do ground work and survey and we look forward to more schools to be opened to meet the growing population in the Bintulu division,” he told a news conference after the STU’s 25th biennial delegates conference at a hotel here today.
Presently, Bintulu has 25 primary schools, six secondary schools and a vocational college institution.
According to Adam, these 32 schools, inclusive of the only vocational college institution have a total of 31,826 students.
On the Covid-19 vaccines, he appealed to the government to give priority to teachers, after the frontliners, once these vaccines are made available in the country.
He said not only teachers should be given the priority but the vaccination for their family members and students ought to be prioritised too.
“We spend time with children at school. STU urges that all teachers to be given priority (to be vaccinated) after the frontliners,” he added.
Meanwhile, STU signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak in conjunction with the conference.
On hand to sign the MoU were Adam representing STU and Swinburne Sarawak was represented by Swinburne Innovation Malaysia Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Prof Wallace Wong.
The MoU marked a milestone between Swinburne Sarawak and STU, allowing members of STU to further their studies in the Master of Arts (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages – Tesol) at Swinburne Sarawak.
It will allow STU members to enjoy special privileges from Swinburne Sarawak.
Adam hoped that his members will take this opportunity to further their academic and professional development so as to become better teachers.
The Master of Arts (Tesol) is aimed at facilitating the development of disciplinary knowledge on second language acquisition, focusing on the area of teaching English to speakers of other languages, equipping prospective teachers with the basic, intermediate and advanced tools for classroom practice in the area of Tesol, among others.
The programme complies with the Australian Qualifications Framework and is accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Register.