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Funds from revision of timber cess rates to be used for education
14 November 2017

KUCHING: Money received from the revision of timber cess rates will be used to fund education efforts in line with the digital economy initiative, said Assistant Minister of Education and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapaee.

Dr Annuar pointed out that the state is aligning its funding received from the timber cess to provide scholarships, educations loans and programmes focused on courses that are in line with the digital economy initiative.

In view of the states agenda to enhance economic growth leveraging on Digital Economy, including Industry 4.0, emphasis is given on courses relating to cyber-physical systems, such as the Internet of Things, cloud computing, cognitive computing, and biological sciences such as molecular biology and genomics.

This will enhance the governments effort in accelerating the states economic growth, reduce socio-economic divide and increase employability among the youths, he said during the State Legislative Assembly sitting yesterday.

Dr Annuar was responding to a question raised by Tanjung Datu assemblywoman Datuk Amar Jamilah Anu who wanted to know about the strategic approaches that Yayasan Sarawak would take in providing education assistance for Sarawakians, especially those in the rural areas.

According to Dr Annuar, Yayasan Sarawak already has ongoing strategic programmes to improve the performance of rural students such as the community development programme and programmes to provide free textbooks and uniforms.

He said the programme to provide free uniforms was given special focus, as it has an annual allocation of RM4.0 million with assistance from the state government.

For the rest of Yayasan Sarawaks educational initiatives, Dr Annuar said RM18 million is allocated for education loans, RM6 million for scholarships and RM8 million for various other programmes and assistance to students state-wide annually.

In addition, he said the foundation also allocates RM4 million annually for scholarships of specific programmes offered at Universiti Sarawak Malaysia (Unimas).

New courses to be sponsored by Yayasan Sarawak under the digital economy initiative are cytology, biochemistry, embryology, genetics, micro-biology, bioinformatics, bioprocess engineering, bio-robotics, biomorphic robotics, instrumentation control engineering, image processing, sensors and actuator

mechatronic, storage virtualisation, cloud computing, cognitive information communication, artificial intelligence, cyber security, networking, software engineering, data analytics, big data and telemetry and human computer interaction (HCI), he added.

Source : Borneo Post Online

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