KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem has called the federal government’s plan to convert two of Sarawak’s Institutes of Teacher Education (IPG) into vocational colleges as “stupid”.
While acknowledging the importance of technical education, he asserted the number of IPGs should not be reduced as this could endanger the government’s objective of a 90:10 ratio for Sarawakian and non-Sarawakian teachers serving in the state.
“I have written to the Prime Minister to tell him that converting the two teachers’ training colleges into technical schools is stupid. I know the importance of technical education, but this should not be done at the expense of two teachers’ training colleges,” he said when opening the state-level Women’s Day 2016 celebration yesterday.
“So, I am urging the (federal) government to change this decision.”
In a statement on Oct 29, the Ministry of Education announced that none of the IPGs in the country would be closed amid confusion following Budget 2017 tabled by the Prime Minister on Oct 21.
The statement said there were 27 IPG campuses nationwide, with nine to be converted into vocational colleges or polytechnics.
“The IPGs involved have yet to be finalised and talks are on-going, especially on the needs according to location,” added the statement.
Before calling this decision “stupid”, Adenan again pointed out his regret that the federal government had decided some 30 years ago to stop using English as the medium of instruction in schools.
“It is stupid to emphasise the use of Bahasa Malaysia at the expense of English when we could emphasise both languages at the same time,” he said.
He blamed the decision for the inability of many young Malaysians to speak proper English, which has led to unemployment.
“This is why I have declared openly that English should be a second language in Sarawak. I don’t care about what the federal government has to say,” he added. – Borneo Post