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English ensures youths can compete in job market
Tarikh : 05 Aug 2018  Sumber Berita: "The Borneo Post"
 

Dennis and Manyin (second and third right respectively) try out a remote control car at the STEM Playground.


MIRI: The Sarawak government’s emphasis on promoting the use of English language is not to put Bahasa Malaysia (BM) aside, but to ensure that Sarawakian youths can compete in the global job market.

According to the Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin, BM would remain as a means to unite Malaysians who are made up of various races, especially in Sarawak where there are more than 28 ethnic groups.

He said this when officiating at a two-day STEM Playground 2018 – Miri Curtin IEEE Science and Technology Exhibition and Kids Festival at Pustaka Miri yesterday.

The event was organised by Sarawak government and Tabung Ekonomi Gagasan Anak Bumiputera Sarawak (Tegas) in collaboration with the Education Department, Pustaka Negeri Sarawak, All Aboard Young Leader Centre (AAYLC), IEEE Curtin Malaysia and various other agencies.

Manyin pointed out that many local graduates could not land jobs either in the government or the private sectors due to their poor command of English.

“There are thousands of graduates who cannot get a job, not because there are no jobs. In fact there are plenty of jobs in the private sector, but they lack proficiency in English.

“There are a lot of people who have TVET (Technical Vocational Education and Training) certificates or diplomas with the correct skills and knowledge, but almost every manual in every private sector is in English. So, many of our students with TVET certificates or diplomas cannot secure work in the private sector,” he said.

Manyin noted that interest of students in Science and Mathematics was waning and this was a major concern.

“If nothing is done to create greater interest and confidence in the ability to learn science and mathematics amongst our children and youths, the light at the end of the tunnel for the new generation entering the job market will be rather dim.”

He said his ministry had engaged with Sarawak education department, local universities and TVET institutions, research agencies, companies such as Sarawak Shell and Petronas as well as relevant non-governmental organisations to jointly develop the Sarawak STEM Initiatives (SSI).

Among those present at the function were Telang Usan assemblyman Dennis Ngau, Pustaka Negeri Sarawak chief executive officer Rashidah Bolhassan, Miri Resident Sherrina Hussaini and Miri District officer Abdul Aziz Mohammad Yusuf.