SIBU: Members of the Sarawak state legislative assembly, including from the opposition, have been asked to adopt schools in their constituencies and assist in addressing the decline in the standard of English among primary and secondary school students.

Sarawak Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong said his ministry had written to all of the assemblymen with the hope they could encourage students to use English daily within their school compound.

“We have also taken some other steps to improve the standard of English language. We have directed the State Education Department, with immediate effect to erect signage in dual languages – in English and Bahasa Malaysia and encourage headmasters and principals to use English during school assembly,” he said.

Manyin said this when representing Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg to officiate the Catholic High School new main building here today.

He cautioned that the state’s effort to improve the language proficiency among students should not be misconstrued as downgrading the national language

He said the usage of Bahasa Malaysia as an official language was implemented many years ago to create an identity for the country and to unite its people of various races and religion.

“We somehow have achieved that objectives,” he said.

Manyin also advised teachers not to immediately correct the mistakes made by the students when they are communicating in English as it would discourage them to learn the language.

“We are not using the Queen’s English. The students will correct themselves as they continue to learn the language and getting better in it,” he said.

He hope that all sides would cooperate to ensure that the standard of the English language among students would improve for the betterment of their future.


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