Press Statement By Chong Chieng Jen:
In 2015, during the Sarawak DUN sitting on 8-12-2015, DAP Sarawak formally proposed the concept of “State-owned private schools with English as medium of instruction”.
The following was my motion in DUN on 8-12-2015:
“Whereas the State Government, working together with the Federal Government, has in the past unwisely abolished the English Medium Schools in Sarawak.
And whereas this has resulted in the deterioration of standard of English amongst our younger generation.
And whereas the Chief Minister has now rightly pointed out the need to improve the standard and command of English for us Sarawakian to compete globally.
And whereas the Federal Government is still reluctant to revive the English Medium Schools to help uplift the standard of English amongst our children.
Therefore it is moved that this house hereby resolves that:
- 10% of the State Government expenditure budget be channelled to and allocated for the development of the State private education system with English as the medium of instruction.
- The State Government set up and operate private schools with English as the medium of instruction and provide free education for the students studying in these schools.”
It took the previous BN and now GPS government 5 years to put into action the suggestion, but late is better than never.
However, besides being 5-year late, there is also substantial differences and flaws in Abang Jo’s current proposal of introducing the State-owned international school system as compared to our initial proposal.
In the premises, I call upon the State Government to:
- Set up private schools with English language as the medium of instruction, instead of setting up international schools;
- Provide free education for all Sarawakians in these private schools, not only the selected ones.
- Provide free additional English lessons in primary schools so that more students will be equipped with the necessary standard of English to enrol in the secondary English medium schools.
- Provide a proper substantial allocation in the 2021 State Budget for the setting up and operation of English medium private schools and to have more of the English medium schools set up, not merely 5 which will only create an elitist group of students.
Chong Chieng Jen
DAP Sarawak Chairman