KUCHING: Yayasan Sarawak has provided educational assistance in the forms of financial study loans and scholarships to 16,550 Sarawakians studying at higher learning institutions within and outside of the country between 2009 and 2013.
According to Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Promotion of Technical Education) Datu Len Talif Salleh, this was in line with the statutory body’s efforts in contributing towards the state’s education development.
“Yayasan Sarawak through various programmes and educational assistance schemes, allocates around RM35 million per year to Sarawakians to assist them in their education pathway,” he said in reply to a question raised by Pelagus assemblyman George Lagong on how much study loans and scholarships were distributed by Yayasan Sarawak at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting yesterday.
Meanwhile, Len also touched on education prospects at GiatMara centres in the state which were established to provide vocational and skills training programmes to youths especially those in rural areas.
“There are 31 GiatMara centres in Sarawak, which will enable students to equip themselves with some skills in gearing towards producing skilled human capital and tehnical entrpreneurs,” he said in reply to Annuar Rapa’ee (BN-Nangka) and added that six GiatMara centres have been established in Kuching, four in Sibu, three in Sri Aman, three in Miri, three in Mukah, three in Kota Samarahan, two in Sarikei, two in Limbang, two in Kapit, two in Betong and one in Bintulu.
On whether GiatMara centres in Sibu would soon be introducing appropriate courses to meet the demand for skilled and semi-skilled manpower needs of the state, Len said that the skills training institutions were currently in the process of adding new courses such as refrigeration technology and air-conditioning courses.
“On the other hand, GiatMara centres located near Sibu namely in Lanang offers automotive courses whereas in Selangau offers metal fabrication and welding courses.”