KUCHING, Sept 16 — Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) will continue to play its role in improving the lives of the diverse and dispersed communities in Sarawak through education, research and technological innovation.

In a statement issued by the university in conjunction with the Malaysia Day celebration, today, UNIMAS, as a premier university in Sarawak, said education had been the key to the success of Sarawak as she strives toward building industries and developing a digital economy. 

It said UNIMAS played a pivotal role in supporting the Sarawak Energy and Environmental Sustainability Ministry in promoting green energy, climate change and energy and sustainability by forming the Institute of Sustainable and Renewable Energy (ISuRE).

“UNIMAS is also an instrumental partner to the Sarawak Government in setting up the Sarawak Infectious Disease Centre, stemming from its research activities in infectious diseases in Sarawak over the last 25 years and groundbreaking work with the state government in managing COVID-19,” it said.

The legacy of the importance of education in Sarawak which started during the days of the White Rajah’s administration in enhancing community health and wellness persisted till today, as the Education Ministry’s initiatives are not only to produce educated students, but also to look after their well-being. 

“The provision of education in Sarawak is not merely by building schools, but also allocating vast resources for basic infrastructures such as roads, water and electricity supply which are needed to provide a conducive educational environment.

“It is the provision of education that drives the building of this basic infrastructure development among the urban and rural communities,” it said.

According to the statement, education is key and a necessary growing investment that Malaysia needs to bank on.

“Every decision that we make today can either directly or indirectly affect our future generations. Simultaneously, we also owe it to the youth of this generation to build a more equitable and effective education for a stronger  Keluarga Malaysia,” it said.

Under the 2022 budget, it said the federal government had allocated RM746 million for the upgrading of schools involving 165 projects in Sarawak. 

UNIMAS said the allocation was part of the RM52.6 billion allocated for the Education Ministry, the largest in this year’s budget (equivalent to 16 per cent of the total government expenditure), while RM14.5 billion was allocated for the Ministry of Higher Education (MoHE).

It said the Sarawak government had always been committed to enhancing the quality of education in the state, although the matter is a federal government purview, as reflected by the allocation of RM11.82 million for Continous Professional Development (CPD) programmes for school leaders and teachers.

The state government, it said, also built the RM200 million Sarawak Science Centre, which is scheduled for completion in 2024, in addition to establishing the Sarawak Research Development Council and the Sarawak Infectious Disease Centre costing RM211 million. 

“The establishment of higher education institutions (HEIs) in Sarawak such as UPM Bintulu, UiTM Kota Samarahan and Mukah, Polytechnics and Community Colleges is evidence of MoHE’s attentiveness to the uplifting of Sarawakians through education,” it said, adding that they contributed to the upscaling of Sarawak as a land of scientific innovation as well as help the Sarawak government in achieving its Post-COVID-19 Development Strategy 2030 (PCDS2030) targets. 


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