CM: State govt to build five residential international schools to groom rural students

Abang Johari (centre) witnesses the agreement exchange between Chung (second right) and
Tan (third left) while Manyin (on his left) and others look on. Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: The state government is building five residential international schools where people
in rural areas can be groomed in that particular ecosystem, said Chief minister Datuk
Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He stressed that the government is not competing with the private sector in that respect.

“We bring the children of farmers, fishermen to these residential international schools. We are
just giving a venue for smart kids, particularly those in the rural areas, to study where the
curriculum is international.

“At the end of the day, you will have people across the board who are smart, have the
opportunity to study further and be eligible to go to world-class universities,” he said in his
keynote address prior to witnessing the agreement signing ceremony between Saradise Sdn
Bhd and Borneo International School held at Saradise Gallery Saturday.

Abang Johari pointed out that if Sarawak wants to be smart, it must produce smart people by
giving opportunities for everyone to acquire knowledge.

He added that everything today was interconnected and things have to be managed internationally.

“With that sort of environment, we have to prepare our children’s minds internationally. Through
certain curriculum we can expose them to what is going on in the world.

“Sarawak has lots of room to develop. The state must be connected internationally. The state
government is encouraging students to have an international mindset, and for that to happen, our
education policy must be consistent and it must be adjusted to the needs of the changing
environment,” he said.

Meanwhile, Saradise Sdn Bhd group chief executive officer Dato Chris Chung said that being in
the private sector, the company is always supportive of the state’s initiative towards
transforming Sarawak’s economy.

“One of the sectors being given priority by the state is education. The building of five new
international schools in the next five years – two in Kuching, and one each in Sibu, Miri and
Bintulu – is an investment by the state government to develop local talents and mold them into pillars for the state.

“We have been looking for an education partner to fit our signature project, Saradise Kuching,”
he enthused.

Earlier, Borneo International School chairman Tan Seng Kee explained that it was partnering with
the company to build a new campus at Saradise Kuching to support their vision of providing quality
international education to the children of Sarawak, Sabah and nearby countries.

“In Saradise, we found a partner that shares a common educational and pedagogical objective
with us. Our focus is not only on academic attainment and intellectual enrichment but also on
co-curricular activities to mold character and life skills.

“Our aim is to encourage students to consider what is truly important and develop a set of
values and skills that will serve them in their personal and professional lives,” he said.

The Borneo International School’s new campus with 15,000 square metres of built-up space
will offer a range of facilities including a multipurpose indoor sports hall, state-of-the-art
classrooms, performing arts and drama studios, a six-lane 25-metre swimming pool, and an
outdoor football field.

The campus will be able to accommodate more than 1,200 students and it is expected to be
operational by January 2023.

Founded in 2016, the school comprised both a primary and secondary school on the same
campus and is accredited to Cambridge International Education UK.

Also present at the signing ceremony were Minister of Education, Science and Technological
Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong, Borneo International School director Mark Tan,
Borneo International School board of governors member Datuk Mutang Tagal, Saradise chief
executive officer Dylan Yee and others.

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