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KUCHING, Sept 11: The first phase of the project to repair and upgrade dilapidated schools in Sarawak has commenced, involving 37 schools with an overall cost of RM100 million.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg revealed that the second phase of the redevelopment project for dilapidated schools would be rolled up after January next year.
“The state government will repay the loan debt to the federal government as per structured repayment agreed upon up to RM1 billion,” he said during a working visit to SK Sungai Tisang in Bintulu, today.
“The dilapidated schools will be redeveloped for the interests of our children,” he added.
Abang Johari said SK Sungai Tisang, which was in the list of 37 schools involved in the project, would be allocated extra land for expansion including new building blocks and a hall.
“The tender will be out and if the scope of works is inadequate, let me know and I will make changes to solve the problems in this school,” he continued.
Other than schools assisted by the Education Ministry and state Education Department, Abang Johari said there were schools that received direct assistance from the state government.
“We have redeveloped two schools namely Sekolah Maludam in Betong and Sekolah Ulu Segan in Bintulu with state funding, amounting RM35 million and RM29 million respectively,” he said.
“The state government has also approved RM50 million to connect electricity supply to 128 schools and RM9 million to connect 41 rural dilapidated schools with treated water supply,” he continued.
In the northern region Recoda (Regional Corridor Development Authority) areas under the Northern Region Development Agency (NRDA) and Highland Development Agency (HDA), Abang Johari said RM160.5 million has been allocated to upgrade 62 schools.
“RM21 million has been allocated to repair and improve facilities of 66 schools through RTI (Rural Transformation Initiative) or RTP (Rural Transformation Programme). We also approve special funding of RM37 million to help government aided schools, other than Chinese middle schools,” he added.
He reminded the importance of a conducive environment for learning and teaching that were fundamental to develop Sarawak and its people.
Intellectual property was important to ensure the successful transformation of any country and this starts at school, which must have the environment that can nurture the interests and potentials of children, he explained.
Out of the 31 districts in Sarawak, areas with dilapidated schools that required urgent repairs and upgrades included those in Baram, Belaga, Simunjan and Saratok, he said.
The Education Ministry, state Education Department and Sarawak government have been working closely to address dilapidated schools issue, carrying out of reconstruction and upgrading of schools using Industrial Building System (IBS) since 2016, involving 20 schools.
In 2017, IBS projects have been implemented in 30 schools, while in 2018, 116 schools have benefited, involving an overall cost of RM578.33 million.
In addition, the remaining period of the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) will see 36 schools being redeveloped, while for the 11MP Rolling Plan One to Four, will involve 49 schools with an overall cost of RM2.6 billion.
The total cost included the building of two new schools in Bintulu namely SK Samalaju and SMK Samalaju, as well as rebuilding a new site for SK Orang Kaya Mohamad Bintulu.
Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong and Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing were present. — DayakDaily