Minister: System to blame, not students and teachers

Manyin receiving a souvenir from UiTM deputy rector of academic and international affairs, Professor Dr Firdaus Abdullah

KUCHING: Datuk Amar Michael Manyin Jawong says students and teachers should not take the fall for the poor command of English in the country – the blame should be on the system.  

“How can you blame the teachers and students, that they are not properly trained? Right from Day One, they have been listening to BM, all the speeches are in BM, listening to television in BM, our correspondence in BM,” the state Education, Science and Technological Research Minister lashed out at critics. 

He said that five international schools would be run by the state government starting next year and all subjects would be taught in English.

“Sarawak is fortunate that it has been using and is still using the English language in all its administration, making it the second most spoken language after the national language.” 

Manyin was speaking to the media after witnessing the MoU signing between UiTM Sarawak and Reng College of Technology and Design as an initiative for students to mingle and exchange ideas. 

Similarly, when asked if he would contest in his Tebedu constituency in the coming 12th Sarawak Election, he said it was the Chief Minister’s prerogative.

“I am the oldest minister in the Cabinet right now and I have served in the government for 25 years. As to whether I will contest in this coming election, it is not for me to say. It’s the CM’s prerogative,” said Manyin, 75. 

Meanwhile, he assured that Sarawak wouuld welcome any sort of collaboration that would benefit its younger generation.

He cited Germany and Finland as good examples to emulate in terms of a good education and job opportunity system for the younger generation.

He also congratulated Mara for using the English language as its medium of instruction and advised it to continue with this policy.

“A country’s success fundamentally depends on the knowledge, skills, competencies and innovation of its people. I encourage you to work with your counterparts from within and outside our country.

“Collaboration benefits both parties. We can surely develop our human capital through education and research. We want the next generation to be fully equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to be successful not only in our country but also to be competitive globally.”

He added: “Both UiTM Sarawak and Reng College of Technology and Design are given this mandate by the government. There are bound to be obstacles, of course, but with perseverance, nothing is impossible. Hopefully, we can eventually become a high income nation.”