Gerawat: S’wak proactive in addressing declining command of English

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Robert (back, ninth right) and others in a photo call with the Primary 6 pupils.

MIRI (Feb 8): The Sarawak government has taken proactive steps to arrest the declining command of the English language among students, by allocating funds to train teachers and setting up international schools, said Datuk Gerawat Gala.

The Deputy Minister in the Premier’s Department said the state government has spent over RM10 million to train English language teachers and supply the relevant teaching materials.

“We are in a situation where those graduating from local universities find it difficult to secure employment in global corporations operating in our country due to their lack of fluency in English.

“To address this, the state government has invested in training teachers to teach English, as well as setting up five international schools that use the Cambridge syllabus with English as the language of delivery,” he said at the SK St Columba Primary 6 graduation ceremony, here Wednesday.

The text of his speech was read by his representative Datuk Robert Laing Anyie.

Adding on, Gerawat said students from lower-income families who obtain excellent results will have the opportunity to enter Form 1 at these international schools.

“Those who get a place in our international schools do not have to pay any fees, and the schools’ facilities are much better than regular schools. Dormitories are also available,” he said.

He said one such school is already operating in Kuching, with the other four to be built in Samarahan, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri.

Present during the ceremony was SK St Columba headmistress Eno Liau and the school’s parent-teacher association chairman Jude Judah.