Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem has reportedly dismissed the federal government’s plan to convert two of Sarawak’s Institutes of Teacher Education (IPG) into vocational colleges as “stupid”.
The Borneo Post today quoted Adenan as saying that the number of IPGs should not be reduced as this could endanger the government’s objective of a 9:1 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 (in Sarawak) 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,” Adenan reportedly said when opening the state-level Women’s Day 2016 celebration yesterday.
“So, I am urging the (federal) government to change this decision," he added.
The Education Ministry in a statement on Oct 29 clarified that none of the IPGs in the country would be closed, amid confusion following Budget 2017 tabled by the Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
There are currently 27 IPG campuses nationwide and it was announced that nine - including the two in Sarawak - would be converted into vocational colleges or polytechnics.
Stopping English also 'stupid'
Adenan, meanwhile, reiterated his regret over the federal government' decision 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 was reported saying.
He said the decision had led to the inability of many young Malaysians to speak proper English, which then led to a high unemployment rate.
“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 said.