Proposed fund set to help Dayak students pursuing tertiary studies

KUCHING: Dayak children will have more opportunities in pursuing higher education, thanks to the Dayak High Education Fund scheduled to be commissioned next year.

Sarawak Dayak Graduates Association (SDGA) president Dr Dusit Jaul said the fund would help many students who had been offered places in institutions of higher learning but could not proceed due to financial constraints.

Further, he said he had been approached by many parents seeking financial aid to send their children to colleges and universities.

This is a serious issue. If it is allowed to persist, it would be a stumbling block in our effort to have more Dayak graduates. We are working on it (the fund) with some members and by next year, we can start the ball rolling, he said during the SDGAs Frosty Christmas Get Together 2014 on Friday night.

Moreover, Dr Dusit also urged Dayak graduates to become SDGA members, reasoning that with a larger membership base, the association could do more in assisting the community, especially in uplifting the standard of academic achievement of students.

Having said this, he said the body had reached its target of having over 1,000 members. As such, he hoped that the number would hit 2,000 next year.

In the pipeline, SDGA in collaboration with other NGOs (non-governmental organisations), is in the midst of outlining the Dayak Development Framework. The draft is still in preliminary stage and all members across the state will give their input on the plan.

We have organised a workshop in Kuching and will expand it to Sibu and Miri in getting feedback from members in those areas.

The framework is prepared by the Dayaks for the Dayaks.

This year, SDGA is collaborating with its counterparts in Kalimantan, including the Catholic Graduates Association, through a four-day cultural visit to Pontianak beginning yesterday.

According Dr Dusit, the Indonesian side is keen on working with SDGA on programmes related to education.