The Education Ministry will set up adult classes (known a ‘Kedap’) to improve Penan community academic achievements said Rahman Led Head of Special Education Unit at a workshop in Miri yesterday.

Two pilot projects at Long Bedian and Batu Bungan schools will start January 2009 and would be extended to Long Kevok and Long Pelutan in it second phase.

The Borneo Post said studying adult Penan would be offered cash, provided with free learning materials by the Education Ministry while their teachers will be paid RM50 per hour allowance.

They will be required to attend at least 100 days in school a year to master basic learning skills such as reading, understanding and writing (or Memahami, Menulis, Membaca – 3M), as this would enable them to assist their schooling children.

However the state government wants the Kedap programme to be more comprehensive, reaching out to as many interested Penan parents as possible instead of confining it to only 25 students per class.

“Why should restrict it to twenty five adult Penan students, what if there are more than 100 parents who are interested,” Jabu said at Penan volunteers workshop in Miri.

Kedap would defeat its purpose if the net was not cast wide enough to enable more Penan parents to be involved added Jabu.