Abg Jo appeals to the Education Ministry for taking sweet time to disburse funds for the renovation of schools

Abang Johari (third left) presents a certificate to a Youth Leadership Camp participant as witnessed by (from left) Abdul Wahab, Ngu, Naroden, Irwan and Fazzrudin. – Description Image

KUCHING (July 23): Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has called on the Ministry of Education to focus on matters when it comes to the disbursement of funds to repair dilapidated schools in the state.

He said many rural schools are in need of immediate repair or rebuilding but due to lack of funds, teachers and students have to work on the existing school infrastructure.

“The Ministry of Education talks the talk but has not disbursed funds to fix schools in Sarawak.

“Education is very important and that’s why I’m a bit upset with Putrajaya about it. They should walk the talk,” he said when closing the Youth Leadership Camp at SMK Gedong here today.

He pointed out that the dire situation of some schools left him with no choice but to use state funds to rehabilitate and rehabilitate these schools with state funds like SK Ulu Segan in Bintulu.

Abang Johari also urged the State Department of Education to give him details of the cost of renovating SK Sageng in Simunjan, which he has not yet received.

“Recently I went to Kampung Sageng and I discovered that the school is in a terrible state where the floor has sunk due to the structure being on peat soil. But even so, there is a way to fix it.

“I have requested the details and the cost from the Education Department but until now, they have not given me what I asked for.

“I am asking for the details of SK Sageng because I want to include it in my budget,” he said.

At SMK Gedong, the Premier acknowledged its principal’s request for new school blocks in the secondary school.

“I will work hard to do this and based on estimates, the allocation is about RM15 million as it involves the construction of new blocks,” he said, adding that he would ask the State Education Department to appoint a consultant for this project.

Earlier, SMK Gedong principal Abdul Wahab Bujang asked for Abang Johari’s help in his speech to provide and improve some school facilities as SMK Gedong is the only secondary school in the district.

“We hope that the Premier may consider giving the school a new building for the Special Education Integration Program (PPKI) consisting of five classrooms because the current block is no longer safe and currently PPKI students are housed in the computer room,” he said.

He also requested a new 15-classroom academic block to replace two blocks that are no longer safe; a multi-purpose hall with a capacity of 800 to 1,000 people; and a new skills workshop block to replace the existing one which is no longer safe and needs to be demolished, among others.

“We actually applied for them through the Fourth Rolling Plan of the 12th Malaysia Plan but are still waiting for a response to our request,” said Abdul Wahab, noting that the State Education Department tried to help them by reducing allocations for the maintenance of some school buildings and facilities.

The Youth Leadership Camp organized by Emart Group, in collaboration with SMK Gedong, aims to promote and cultivate good moral values ​​among young people with an emphasis on responsibility, compassion, unity, leadership, gratitude, dedication and courage.

About 160 students from SMK Gedong participated in the three-day training program which is one of Emart’s corporate social responsibility activities.

The camp is organized in collaboration with all schools in Sarawak free of charge with the aim of improving educational practice and contributing to the welfare of the community.

Also present at the premiere were chief political secretary Fazzrudin Abdul Rahman, Emart managing director Ngu Ting Sii, Samarahan Resident Irwan Buhari Bujang, and Ministry of International Trade and Investment advisor Datuk Naroden Majais.

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