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KUCHING, Oct 17: The Sarawak government has disbursed special financial grants to SJKC Tung Kwong (Meradong), SJKC Sung Sang (Sibu), SJKC Kiew Nang (Sibu) and SJKC Ek Thei (Sibu), to assist in rebuilding dilapidated classrooms and relocating the schools.
Minister for Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, said the four schools were among the 16 Chinese primary schools in the State selected to receive the Sarawak government’s special financial grants for 2021 amounting to RM10 million.
“The funding for Chinese schools from the Sarawak government was started by the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem in 2014 with RM3 million every year, and it is continued by the Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg with the setting up of the Special Unit for Aided Chinese Primary Schools in Sarawak under his ministry with RM8 million funding for 12 schools in 2020, and RM10 million for 16 schools this year.
“In addition, the Sarawak government also allocated Ctate land to the school boards in order for them to be financial independent in the future,” said Dr Sim in a Facebook post yesterday (Oct 16).
Dr Sim noted a number of schools are in dire need of means to rebuild dilapidated classrooms, some of which have been in use for more than 50 years, including schools with low student enrolment, especially in rural areas.
According to him, the federal government is not responsible for the rebuilding of dilapidated classrooms or relocation of Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan Cina (SJKC) schools.
As such, he added, Abang Johari decided to start giving allocations last year for these specific purposes with an estimated total of RM60 million over five years.
Meanwhile, Dr Sim also apologised and pleaded for understanding from Chinese primary school boards, saying that the fund is not for equal distribution to every SKJC.
He pointed out that it is the duty of every Chinese primary school board to help other Chinese schools which need to rebuild dilapidated facilities or relocate.
“Solidarity, unity, helping each other is the spirit of survival for Chinese education in Sarawak in the past, now and in the future.
“Let’s help each other for these five years with the basis of rebuilding dilapidated classrooms or relocating schools with few students first, before we expande our scope,” he added. — DayakDaily