Kota Kinabalu: Institute of Teachers Education (ITE) Gaya Campus should be turned into an English-medium teachers university in Sabah, said State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun.
“This is the first time I am making this suggestion as there are rumours or rather proposals to turn this campus into a technical vocational school,” he said, after signing of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Institute of Teachers Education (ITE) Gaya Campus Kota Kinabalu and Special Olympics Sabah (SOS) at the ITE Gaya Campus on Tuesday.
He said all the talk about turning it to a TVET school was not favoured by the state government.
“The state government did not take it well and opposed it. Each ITE in Sabah has history of its own.
Take ITE Gaya Campus, it was the first teachers’ training college that used English in Sabah.
“You know in those days, when we didn’t have universities in Sabah. This (Gaya College) was the next big thing because there was no other higher institution,” he recalled.
Gaya College, as it was known then, was established in 1962 and was officially opened by the Governor in July 1963.
Masidi insisted the iconic institution be allowed to continue to produce teachers for Sabah.
“You cannot just take away history and forget about it.
In my opinion, the world today has turned people to think less and more robotic in our approach.
“It is important to set up a teachers’ university and I suggest turning this historic campus into one and producing quality teachers in Sabah,” said.
He stressed that there is also high value in preserving historical heritage.
“Life is not all about money but (it is also important) also to create our own integrity and to be proud of our history.
Obviously, this is one of them,” he said.
He also said it would be a good form of investment for the state as having an English–medium teachers’ university would attract students from the Asia Pacific region and the rest of world.
“Now that other universities are encouraged to take foreign intakes, there is no reason we can’t do the same with our teachers’ university. It’s as an investment for the future,” he added.
Source: Daily Express