’Give us the teachers’ institutes’

KUCHING: The state government wants to utilise the teachers’ training institute (IPG) in Rajang and Miri for other human capital development initiatives after their closure in 2020.

Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong said the state would write to Putrajaya to allow the state government to take over both campuses.

He added that the state government wanted to use the facility in Miri for technical and vocational education and training (TVET) purposes due to it being surrounded by many industrial facilities.

The state is still studying the best option to fully utilise the Rajang campus in Sarikei, due to the lack of industrial activities in the surrounding vicinity.

“Due to low enrolment of trainee teachers in all IPGs in Sarawak, there is no point for us to retain Miri and Rajang campuses for similar purposes but we want to use the facilities for our TVET initiative and other programmes.

“Once we have finalised our plans for both campuses, the chief minister will write directly to the prime minister on our proposal,” Manyin told reporters here.

Rajang and Miri IPGs will be closed after the last intakes have graduated in June 2020.

Both campuses were among nine institutes in the country that would have been converted into polytechnics under the Higher Education Ministry.

Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh confirmed the closure of the colleges, when replying to a question posed during the last parliamentary sitting.

This will leave Sarawak with the IPG Batu Lintang in Kuching, and Tun Abdul Razak IPG in Kota Samarahan.

He said both Batu Lintang and Tun Abdul Razak campuses, with a capacity of 500 students each, currently had half the number of trainee teachers.

Similar situation is also experienced at Miri and Rajang campuses.

On a positive note, Manyin said the remaining campuses had sufficient capacity, qualified lecturers and facilities to produce teachers and meet the state’s objective to have a 90:10 ratio of local to peninsula teachers serving in Sarawak.

“The more pressing issue now is to attract highly qualified individuals to enter the teaching force.

“Without quality teachers, the state would not be able to perform well in education,” he added.

Source: http://www.thestar.com.my/metro/metro-news/2017/09/09/give-us-the-teachers-institutes-sarawak-plans-to-take-over-two-campuses-in-miri-and-rajang-once-they/