State to formulate own programmes for Rajang, Miri teachers colleges

KUCHING: The state government will formulate its own training programmes for the Rajang Teachers Training Institute (IPG) and IPG Miri which will be closed down after their present batch of trainees graduate in June 2020.

Minister of Education, Science and Technology Research, Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong said IPG Rajang and Miri are among nine out of 27 IPGs nationwide that the federal government has decided to close down.

However, the state government is against closing down the two teachers training institutes in the state, he added.

“I have gone to Kuala Lumpur to meet the federal Education Minister Minister Dato Seri Idris Jusoh on the matter but he told me he could not make any decision because it was the cabinet decision to turn these IPGs to TVET centres.

“So he advised me to get our chief minister to write direct to the Prime Minister and we are going to do that soon,” he told reporters here yesterday.

Manyin said this when met after the launch of the 150th anniversary of the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly (DUN) at the State legislative Assembly Complex here yesterday.

He explained that the falling enrollment was the reason for closing down the nine teachers training institutes.

He cited as an example the intake at Tun Abdul Razak IPG in Samarahan has only 200 students although it has a capacity to accommodate 400 to 500 trainees.

“We have to decide which programme is most suitable for the two IPGs to be closed down before informing the Chief Minister before he writes the letter to the Prime Minister,” he said.

Manyin added that Miri IPG would be suitable for a Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) centre as it is surrounded by industries but his ministry has yet to decide on the programme for Rajang IPG as TVET would not be suitable because there are no major industrial activities in the area.

Touching on the move to merge schools with low enrollment Manyin said he was satisfied with the positive feedback from Barisan Nasional (BN) state assembly members.

The majority of them support the move to centralise schools in rural areas and Manyin hoped that the opposition elected representatives will close rank with their government counterparts in implementing the idea.

“Education is not just for the Barisan Nasional but for all people and I hope all the elected representatives, including the opposition, will support this endeavor,” he said.