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Saturday, November 5, 2016

Adenan: Sarawak won’t permit conversion of teachers’ training institutes into technical colleges

KUCHING - The Sarawak state government said today it will not allow two teachers’ training institutes in the state to be converted into technical colleges.

“I have told the prime minister that converting the two teachers’ training institutes into technical colleges is stupid,” Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said at the launch of the state level Women’s Day celebration at the Indoor Stadium here today.

He said the federal government could always go for other facilities to be converted into technical colleges instead of converting the two teachers’ training institutes.

“Closing the two training colleges will affect the intake of trainee teachers in Sarawak and the need to fulfil the ratio of 90 per cent quota for local teachers and 10 per cent quota from outside the state by 2018,” he said.

Although it has not been finalised yet, the Education Ministry is believed to have identified the Sarawak Teachers Training Institute in Miri and the Rajang Teachers Training Institute in Bintangor to be converted into polytechnics.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in tabling the federal Budget 2017 on October 21, had said nine “unused” teachers training institutes throughout the country would be transformed into polytechnics and vocational colleges to meet the industries’ requirements.

Sarawak minister in-charge of education Datuk Fatimah Abdullah had expressed her regret that the state government had not been consulted by the federal government on the closure of the two teachers’ institutes.

The other two in Sarawak are Batu Lintang in Kuching and the Tun Abdul Razak Teachers Training Institutes in Kota Samarahan.

Today, the outspoken chief minister said the first stupid decision of the federal government was to give emphasis on the use of Bahasa Malaysia at the expense of English, made some 30 years ago.

“The federal government could always give emphasis to the two languages, instead of giving emphasis to Bahasa Malaysia only,” he said, adding that such a decision had given rise to thousands of unemployed graduates in Sarawak because they could not speak and write proper English.

He said English is a language of commerce, science and technology which Malaysia ought to emphasise.

“That was the reason why I made the decision to make English as the second official language of Sarawak,” he said.

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