KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg recently said the only way to fully eradicate poverty was by empowering children of the less privileged through education so that they could turn their family’s fortunes around.
He said while there were many types of poverty, the main root cause was the lack of education among the people.
“If we focus on education, we can reduce poverty,” he said during an exclusive interview with New Sarawak Tribune last Friday (Jan 8).
Many members of the public concurred with the chief minister’s statement, adding that education was closely linked to securing better employment or economic growth as a whole.
Shauqi Afhrah Ismail, Master’s Degree student
I concur with the chief minister’s statement because a person will be able to secure a better job and subsequently, a good pay if he or she has achieved a high level of education. Education does not only provide economic opportunities to the poor but also reduces the gap of inequality in terms of income.
Ariffin Han, businessman
Education is an effective way to overcome poverty because with higher education, one can get a job that guarantees a better future and living standard. Providing direct assistance to the poor is also a good way to help the less fortunate but such method can only last for a short period of time.
Syahrizan Ramlee, teacher
With education, students will have basic knowledge to help them in their daily lives beginning with reading, writing, calculation and even honing their talents and skills. The more they invest in education, the more knowledge they will obtain to improve their skills and lives.
Elisabeth Kasie John, housewife
Education is important but it does not solely depend on higher learning institutions alone as we can also obtain knowledge through practical training and experience. The main problem for the less fortunate is the lack of money. They tend to skip further studies because it requires a lot of money. Instead, they just opt to go straight to work and earn money.
Lia Abdullah, private worker
I agree that education is very important for Sarawakian children to improve their standard of living. However, education is still considered costly and expensive among the less fortunate.
Nor Azizah Abdullah, housewife
I believe the caring Sarawak government is doing its best to reduce poverty in the state. Apart from education, job opportunities and standard salaries are important, too. There is a need to improve these three issues as a whole.”