Master English and jobs will be waiting for you

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LIMBANG: The ability to communicate in English opens doors to employment opportunities, said Minister of Education, Innovation and Talent Development Sarawak (MEITD) Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn.

“It broadens our global outlook. It expands our knowledge. It connects us to the world. It is important for the people to uphold the English language that has become an important communication tool across the globe.

“If we are ambitious, the ability to master the global language is critical to our ability to achieve our goals or land our dream job. Not only will we be able to work confidently in our native country, we will also be able to work and do business confidently in other countries,” he said in his speech during the 51th State Level Teacher’s Day Celebration 2022 at Hotel Purnama here yesterday.

He said several programmes have been conducted, namely the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education, The Importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in relation to the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and the Sarawak Digital Economy and the Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English.

“For STEM, topics related to it have been regularly covered over the last few years in preparation for the ever-changing and increasingly complex world.

“In relation to STEM Education initiatives, English language has been given emphasis due to the global demand of the language. The mastery of English language prepares students with a vast field of knowledge to be globally competitive.

“Therefore, students’ English language proficiency is necessary for accessing information, understanding and adopting new technologies, exploiting opportunities in international economies, excelling in knowledge domains and succeeding in global markets,” he explained.

Meanwhile, he said IR 4.0 has given a new impetus to educational transformation.

“Focusing on TVET is vital to prepare for IR 4.0 which allows digital transformation of manufacturing and leveraging third platform technologies.

“Sarawak has launched a five-year Digital Economy Strategy 2018-2022, which outlines 47 strategic plans to drive the state economy to achieve high-income status by 2030 with eight economic sector that includes agriculture, manufacturing industry 4.0, tourism, smart city, digital health, e-commerce, digital government, sports and social.

“This is supported by seven enablers consisting of digital infrastructure, digital skills and talent development, research and development, digital innovation and entrepreneurship, digital and data, cyber security and digital inclusivity.

“Hence, with the integration of TVET approach into the national curriculum, students are equipped with knowledge and skills to meet the challenges of the Industrial Revolution 4.0,” he added.

Sagah said the Teaching of Science and Mathematics in English in Sarawak is a programme implemented in all national primary schools in Sarawak, starting with the Year One (1) classes for both subjects.

“The implementation of the programme has varied views, amongst all, if one’s view is solely to improve English, it may show variants where it depends on the students and the teachers, hence results may vary. One may have a for-and-against argument for this premise.

“However, if it is seen as an opportunity to be immersed in the language of science and technology of the world, hence would indirectly improve the vocabulary of English, then the results would surely be positive,” he said.

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