Prioritise basic facilities and safety of school children
By Jonathan Chia
KUCHING: The Education and Higher Learning Ministry has been urged to give due attention to the dire and bad conditions of many rural schools in the state.
PKR Women national vice president Voon Shiak Ni said the conditions of the rural schools, especially in the state, was brought to the attention of Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Education and Higher Learning Minister two years ago during his visit to SK Ulu Lubai in the interior Limbang.
“Two years ago, the figure of schools in dire and bad conditions brought to the attention of Muhyiddin was about 600 schools nationwide, but most of them are in Sabah and Sarawak.
“He also commented that the government would need to spend billions to repair these schools and acknowledged that some of these schools are on the verge of being unfit for occupation,” she said in a press statement yesterday.
Voon, who is also PKR Stampin branch vice chairperson, pointed out that basic facilities and safety of school children, teachers and staff should be given utmost priority by the ministry before talking about introducing world class technology in the learning and teaching process under the 1BestariNet project .
Under the project, 10,000 primary and secondary public schools in the country would be equipped with high-speed 4G Internet access and a virtual learning platform .
She said an example of school that need urgent attention from the ministry is SK Rantau Panjang which is less than just eight miles away from the heart of Kuching.
“The whole school is still wooden and the rows of classrooms and staff rooms are on wooden stilts and we also noticed that the building is sinking and some parts of the wooden planks are rotting away.
“Besides that, the school also experienced floods when the year end monsoon rains come and there are times when it was a few metres high and school needed to be closed for days .It has been donkey years the school need to weather through floods.”
Voon appealed to the ministry to give due attention to see to the allocation of funds from the ministry and the necessary action and efforts to upgrade all these schools to provide a better, more conducive and safer environment for the teachers, staff and students.