Re-establish English-medium schools in Sabah: Rahman Dahlan


KOTA BELUD: Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan, has proposed that English-medium government schools in Sabah be re-established in an effort to improve English language proficiency among students in the state.

He said the proposed move should be seen as a proactive measure to produce more human capital which has mastered a universal language.

“Mastery of English is one way for (human capital) be more productive and competitive. By mastering the language, Sabah will be able to ‘speed up’ its pursuit of reducing the development gap between it and other states in the peninsula.

“For that reason, I propose that the Sabah government allow the re-establishment of English-medium government schools, so that we can give an advantage to the children of Sabah to master the language and compete in the job market and boost domestic ability,” he said.

Abdul Rahman, who is also Kota Belud MP, said this after the launch of the Highly Immersive Programme (HIP), at Sekolah Kebangsaan Tempasuk 1 here, yesterday.

Abdul Rahman proposes, for a start, that the education ministry implement a pilot project in selected primary and secondary schools in urban areas, including Sabah College, which show potential and are willing to make English the language of instruction in teaching and learning.

This is to enable the ministry to look at the effectiveness and acceptance of the Sabah people to the project, before its implementation is extended to semi-urban and rural areas.

“I'm quite confident that the schools selected will be able to compete and perform well, thereby producing progressive-minded and competitive students,” he said.

According to him, English-medium government schools existed in Sabah before, but were discontinued after the state government at the time decided to follow the national education policy.

However, Abdul Rahman said the education ministry should look into the matter by considering the proposal in the interest of the people of Sabah, who realise that proficiency in English must be reinforced to progress further in various fields and keep pace with the rapid development of the country. -- BERNAMA