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Lessons Through Teleconferencing For Schools In Remote Areas
April 18, 2006 15:41 PM


OFFICIALLY OPEN… Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi signing a plaque after opening Universiti Malaysia Sarawak's (Unimas) permanent campus in Kota Samarahan. Pix: Hairul

KOTA SAMARAHAN, April 18 (Bernama) -- The government plans to introduce teleconferencing in schools in remote areas, especially in Sabah and Sarawak, to ensure that students in these areas are not left behind in their lessons, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Tuesday.

The Prime Minister said the Education Ministry had been instructed to step up the basic facilities in all these national schools, including supplying electricity to schools in the deep interior.

Hopefully, this approach would prove effective for the students, especially those in schools that are short of teachers, he said when opening Universiti Malaysia Sarawak's (Unimas) permanent campus here.

He said the move was necessary because the government did not want children in rural areas to miss the chance to attend university because of the lack of facilities in their schools.

"It's not their fault, it's not that they're stupid. It's the poor quality educational aids given them that put them at a disadvantage," he said.

Speaking to reporters later, Abdullah said teleconferencing could be well implemented if the teachers were knowledgeable in the technology.

He said the problem in schools in the interior areas now was inadequate facilities and not that the students did not want to learn.

The government was aware that many schools in the interior lacked facilities and the situation should be rectified immediately, he added.

He said other initiatives to ensure that children from the interior were not denied complete education included providing hostels for them.

In his speech, the Prime Minister stressed the need to focus on primary and secondary schools because these were the institutions that would be producing outstanding students who would go on to pursue tertiary education, thus enabling the country to churn out a large human capital of calibre.

This would ensure that the development in the country to achieve developed nation status in Vision 2020 would continue and reach greater heights, he said.

Abdullah said the nation's hopes to continue developing rested squarely on the shoulders of the young generation who are now in the institutions of higher learning because 14 years from now they would be holding key positions in the public and private sectors.

"On them we place hopes to become the new energy, the new generation to make a success of the development started by this and the previous generations," he said.

Abdullah also stressed the need to add value to the existing infrastructure and knowledge so that development could be enhanced.

Present were Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed.

Established in 1992, Unimas has eight eight faculties, six academic support centres and three institutions, 6,000 students and 540 academic staff including 21 professors and 47 associate professors.

-- BERNAMA

 
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