5 residential international schools to be built can accommodate up to 2,500 students in total, says Dr Annuar

Dr Annuar Rapaee

SIBU (Aug 29): The five Yayasan Sarawak residential international schools to be established in the state will be able to accommodate up to 2,500 rural students in total once they are fully operational, said Assistant Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapaee.

He explained that these schools are owned by Sarawak government, where eligible students are sponsored by the state government through Yayasan Sarawak.

Dr Annuar, who is also Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing, pointed out the purpose of these schools was to provide opportunity to rural students who have potential in academics to excel further while bridging the gap between the rich and the poor in future.

In this respect, he dispelled the notion that these schools were meant to primarily benefit the ‘elite’ group.

“Some people may not know why it is necessary to set up these international schools and perceive that these institutions are not meant for the poor. And there were those who went a step further to say that these schools will only benefit the children of those politicians in power.

“That is why we need to clear the air on why the state government mooted to set the residential international schools in the first place. We want to give opportunity to rural students who have potential in academic so that they can excel further in their studies to escape the jaws of poverty in future.

“These schools are mainly open to rural students under the B40 bracket, where the priority is not for the ‘elite’ group, who could afford to send their children to international schools on their own. Because it is meant for rural students, the school doubles up as a residential school unlike other many private schools in town areas.

“Without setting up these residential international schools, the opportunity for rural students to study in such schools is literally nil as they cannot afford on their own. This will eventually widen the gap between the rich and poor in future,” he told The Borneo Post today when adding to Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong’s recent remarks that the five residential international schools to be built in the state would not be an empty promise made by the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government.

According to Manyin, five international schools have been planned – one at Mile 12, another one somewhere in Kuching – Samarahan, a third one in Sibu, a fourth one in Bintulu and the fifth one in Miri.

Adding on, Dr Annuar, who is Nangka assemblyman clarified that students going to these schools would be exposed to Cambridge University’s syllabus and not the national syllabus.

This meant that students would sit for both International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), he informed.

“In doing so, it will open up chances for students to enter good universities overseas, which the government will sponsor if they (students) excel (in their studies).

“Additionally, students can go for the International Foundation or A-level,” he explained.

Towards this end, he said the state government don’t want the rural students to be behind their urban counterparts in term of academic achievement.

“For that reason also, the state government also embarked on the teaching and learning of Mathematics and Science in English,” he said.

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Source: https://www.theborneopost.com/2020/08/29/5-residential-international-schools-to-be-built-can-accommodate-up-to-2500-students-in-total-says-dr-annuar/