20,000 Sabahans don't pursue higher studies
Published on: Saturday, August 29, 2015
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Kota Kinabalu: Asian Tourism Institute (ATI) Chief Executive Officer Datuk Seri Wong Ken Thau urged the Government to take note of the worrying issue of underperformance in schools in the State.He said a recent study conducted by Persatuan IPTS Sabah (PIPTSS) indicated that school performances in the State at secondary level is among the lowest in Malaysia.

He said in his speech at the (ATI) 18th Convocation Ceremony at the Klagan Regency, 1 Borneo on Thursday that 78 per cent of Sabah's secondary schools are ranked in the lower bracket (band 5-7) in 2011 versus 47 per cent in Selangor.

"The issue of underperformance may perpetuate as schools and communities lack role models of a high performance culture and mind-set. This will obviously translate to be a threat to our human capital development.

"Another aspect of this study has indicated that annually a significant number of Sabahans (more than 20,000 out of 36,000 qualified SPM leaders) do not pursue higher education at all be it academic or vocational.

These figures are very significant and they deserve very significant attention if we are serious in our manpower development."

He said that the findings of the study concluded that among the many reasons two major factors seem to emerge eminently which are lack of interest and confidence to continue their studies and the financial constraints that have plagued them especially PTPTN loans which do not provide subsistence and accommodation allowances apart from the recent reduced loan amount.

"These are serious hurdles that our young people have to go through. We hope the State government can consider a separate funding for our potential candidates in Sabah," he said.

Wong said that as of today the State is in good talking terms with federal leaders on the subject of empowerment or autonomy.

"It is time we consider the priority of our educational transformation and advancement. The pre-condition for economic success in any nation building is the success in the development of its human capital resources. Maybe it is time now for us to ask for more control of our own education funding and planning in this knowledge industry."

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the State Government will strive to provide the best economic stimuli to boost the hospitality and tourism industry as it continues to be a key income generating sector in the State.

He said the State Government is also committed to continue growing the hospitality and tourism sectors including through the Sabah Tourism Master Plan to improve the infrastructure for accessibility to all tourism attractions.

However, he said the government cannot do it alone and that industry players also must play their part in supporting the government's aspirations for skilled and knowledgeable people in the field.

He said that tourist arrivals to the State last year stood at 3.38 million with receipts of RM6.35 billion surpassing the RM5.42 billion target.

"The State is continuously working towards achieving its tourism strategies to increase the number of arrivals.

"We are also pursuing the vision of turning Kota Kinabalu into a centre of international meetings and conferences to draw more visitors to the State.

This will certainly lead to more job opportunities and other economic spinoffs."

In terms of economic outlook, Musa said the government continues to exercise transparency and is taking the necessary measures through policies and medium to long term plans to stimulate the economy and foster growth.

"I believe the current problems are only temporary setbacks and we will certainly bounce back and be on the right track again."


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