KUCHING, Aug 4: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Sibuti branch has demanded both the federal and State governments release details on the spending of large allocations approved previously for the upgrading and rebuilding of dilapidated schools in Sarawak and sabah.
Its chief Zulhaidah Suboh pointed out that approving allocation for construction and pre-construction projects without serious actions amounts to giving false hope to educators, students and parents.
“In the 2018 Budget, the (previous) Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government had shown concern for Sarawak by allocating RM1 billion to repair dilapidated schools, even though the State government had expressed its intention to use Sarawak’s fund in advance for the purpose .
“The government had also approved a total of RM1.388 billion under the 11th Malaysia Plan (11MP) to upgrade and rebuild 291 dilapidated schools in Sarawak,” she elaborated in a statement emailed today.
Zulhaidah raised her concern in response to a news report on July 21 that the Education Ministry has identified 351 dilapidated schools in Sarawak, of which 107 have been deemed unsafe by the Public Works Department (JKR).
In a written parliamentary reply to Larry Sng (PBM-Julau) and Ma’mum Sulaiman (Warisan-Kalabakan) on the number of dilapidated schools in Sarawak and Sabah, Education Minister Radzi Jidin said the 244 other schools in Sarawak deemed dilapidated involved unsafe buildings, adding that this was confirmed by the district education offices.
In Sabah, Zulhaidah noted, a total of 282 upgrading projects for dilapidated schools had been approved from 2016 to 2022 involving RM1.9 billion in costs.
Radzi also revealed that as of July 6, 186 of these projects had been completed while 32 were ongoing and 64 were at the pre-construction stage.
“The question here is, where did the funding that had been approved for the upgrading and rebuilding of dilapidated schools in Sarawak and Sabah go?
“If the federal as well as Sarawak and Sabah governments take seriously the safety and education of the future generations of the country, especially the children in Sarawak and Sabah, the problem of dilapidated schools would have been reduced and not dragged on until today,” Zulhaidah added. — DayakDaily