By Lian Cheng
KUCHING, Nov 22: At the rate of repairing only 11 dilapidated schools in a year, it will take the federal government 42 years to repair all rundown schools in Sarawak.
In stating this, Batu Kitang assemblyman Lo Khere Chiang (GPS-SUPP) said the federal government has been dragging its feet in addressing the issue of school repairs in Sarawak.
“The federal government has been dragging its feet in addressing the much needed repairs of schools throughout Sarawak. Thus, it is of utmost importance that education autonomy be returned to us so that urgent issues are resolved quickly especially as it concerns the safety of our students and teachers.
“Our federal deputy education minister has confirmed that MOE (Ministry of Education) is slow in releasing funds for dilapidated schools while answering a parliamentary question from Member for Stampin, saying that we have 462 dilapidated schools in Sarawak which are in need of serious attention but only 11 schools will be repaired in 2024.
“At the rate it is going, the Unity Government will take 42 years to repair all our dilapidated schools in Sarawak,” said Lo while debating Sarawak Budget 2024 during the current sitting of the Sarawak Legislative Assembly (DUN) at DUN Complex here today.
He disclosed that MOE spent RM2.5 billion from 2016–2023 compared to the RM2.7 billion Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg spent on education related matters in Sarawak from 2020–2023.
“It is high time that education autonomy and money due to Sarawak on education matters be promptly and urgently returned to Sarawak for us to repair our schools and for us to decide our own education syllabus,” said Lo.
He believed that when education autonomy is returned to Sarawak, Sarawak will also no longer have to follow the federal’s stance of “chop & change” education programmes and the constant shifts from English to Bahasa Malaysia and back again.
He asserted these indecisive federal education programmes have created so much confusion for students and parents over the years leading to a devastating drop in academic excellence. — DayakDaily