by Wilfred Pilo, email@example.com. Posted on November 8, 2013, Friday
TOKEN OF APPRECIATION: Liwan (right) receiving a memento from Shahri after launching the ‘Leadership and Management of Rural Schools in Sarawak 2013’ seminar organised by Institut Aminuddin Baki (IAB) Sarawak at Yayasan Sarawak’s auditorium yesterday.
KUCHING: The existence of many rural schools and their deplorable conditions are the main challenges for educators and school administrators in Sarawak in providing quality education.
Assistant Minister of Culture and Heritage Liwan Lagang said if not addressed accordingly, these challenges would lead to fewer children attending school and even result in poor academic achievements besides discouraging teachers from taking up appointments in rural schools.
“Our schools in the rural areas still lack basic infrastructure – no clean water, no 24-hour electricity for Internet and poor and bad physical state of accommodation for students and teachers. These conditions make matters worse and pose more challenge than teaching itself,” he said before launching a seminar entitled ‘Leadership and Management of Rural Schools in Sarawak 2013’ organised by Institut Aminuddin Baki (IAB) Sarawak at Yayasan Sarawak’s auditorium yesterday.
According to him, schools in rural areas badly needed improvement and repairs to their physical state, infrastructure and facilities to provide an environment conducive to learning for students and imparting of knowledge by teachers.
“These situations lead to many dropouts which further lead to greater education gap between students studying in rural and urban schools,” he lamented.
He, however, acknowledged that the Ministry of Education and government agencies like Infra and Kemas had implemented various programmes to change the life of the people in the rural areas, whose success depended on the support and commitment of teachers.
Liwan said only teachers could shape the future of the new generations from rural schools. As such, he urged teachers attending the seminar to share among each other their experiences in administrating their respective schools to improve their input and performances despite the challenges.
Currently, Liwan said, a total of 432 primary and 14 secondary schools in the state are categorised as rural schools.
Earlier, co-ordinator and head of IAB Sarawak Dr Shahri Abdul Rahman explained that the seminar was to share information, knowledge, practices and management of rural schools through talks by various experts and speakers.
Also at the seminar were state education director Datu Abdillah Adam, former state directors and academicians.