(From left) Cooplay, Nelson, Uggah and Marie Joanna lead the blowing off the candles on the anniversary cake. Photo: MIPD

Tackling educational hurdles for Dayak students in rural areas

ByLorenzo Isaac Ak Anthony

KUCHING, NOVEMBER 13: Students in rural areas of Sarawak often grapple with educational challenges like illiteracy and dyscalculia.

Deputy Premier of Sarawak Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, expressed concern over cases where students still struggle with fundamental skills despite completing five or six years of primary education.

Addressing this issue, Uggah has urged the University Malaya Dayak Alumni Association (PADUM) to collaborate in finding solutions for the challenges faced by Dayak school students in rural areas.

He emphasizes the importance of assisting slow learners to ensure they meet the challenges of an evolving and competitive world, aligning with parents’ aspirations for their children to excel in studies and become skilled professionals, agropreneurs, and businesspersons.

“I hope PADUM can help to address these problems, alongside their regular rural educational motivation programmes.

“All parents want their children to do very well in their studies and acquiring knowledge and skills as professionals, agropreneurs and business persons,” he said at the association’s 10 anniversary dinner on Sunday.

Uggah pointed out a concern affecting rural Dayak students, highlighting parents’ reluctance to allow their children to stay as boarders, despite available facilities.

He added the need for proper monitoring in boarding schools, and addressing truancy and social issues like drug taking is possible.

While, providing students with a conducive studying environment, rules to follow, and proper care can be achieved by having them stay in boarding facilities.

“They will not face many distractions like using their handphones most of the time or even become involved in social problems like drug taking and alcoholism,” he added.

Meanwhile, Uggah announced a grant of RM50,000 to the association to help PADUM give incentives to Dayak students in Universiti Malaya and another RM100,000 for it to organise its development discussion and social programmes.

PADUM’S president Cooplay Nyipa Aji, Senator Rita Insol, the dinner organising chairperson Marie Joanna Buma, Uggah’s wife Datu Doreen Mayang and Kuching Division Iban paramount chief Temenggong Nelson Kloni were among those present at the dinner. – TVS