The participants in a photo call with Manyin (seated, third left), Abang Johari (seated, fourth left) and other dignitaries.
KUCHING: Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong yesterday disclosed that new classroom models would be introduced in clusters throughout Sarawak.
He said he had met his federal counterpart Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid regarding the matter recently, and he had already given the directive to the state education director.
He explained the classrooms would utilise technology and gadgets, almost similar to the ones at St. Joseph’s International School, to encourage greater interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.
“I have already directed the education director that we want to have two such classrooms for every PPD (education district office areas) as models. This is not conventional set-up but clusters,” he said at the closing of the inaugural Sarawak Invention, Innovation and Design Expo (SIIDEx) 2018 yesterday.
The event held at the Penview Convention Centre, Demak was officiated by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.
Manyin also said the ministry was coming up with strategies and programmes in line with the digital economy transformation initiated by the Chief Minister.
He added that while it was a tall order, the ministry had been finding ways to catch up with the speed of technology since it was set up last year. He quoted a noted American economist, Paul Krugman, who had said the only viable way for nations to become wealthier and improve their standard of living is to incessantly increase productivity which is only possible through invention and innovation.
“Singapore and Korea are two good examples of countries emphasising on creativity, critical thinking and character building in their curricula. In Korea for example, 10 per cent of overall school time is devoted to projects and other transversal activities that foster creativity,” he said.
On SIIDEx, he said its goal is to nurture and propagate a creative and innovative culture in Sarawak, especially among school children, in line with the Talent Development Strategy of the state’s Digital Economy Blueprint.
Meanwhile, UiTM Sarawak acting rector Associate Professor Dr Rasidah Mahdi thanked Manyin and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research for collaborating with UiTM Sarawak and provide the necessary fund to organise SIIDEx.
She said UiTM Sarwak had been organising innovation, invention and design expositions every year since 2004 for its own students and lecturers. For schools participating in SIIDEx, she hoped that the teachers would continue to assist their students in developing their creativity and encourage them to express their creativity through inventions, innovations and designs.