By Ashley Sim
KUCHING, May 24: The State government has embarked on relocating and rebuilding of schools affected by frequent flooding, slope failure, land issues, and low enrolment.
Education, Innovation, and Talent Development (MEITD) Minister Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn, in his winding-up speech at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) sitting here today, stated that 80 schools are subject to frequent flooding and slope failure or possible erosion, while 263 schools have been identified as low enrolment schools (SKM) by the State Education Department (JPNS) and could be merged into 49 centralised schools.
“However, the relocation of these schools is only possible if there is enough funding allocation from the Federal government.
“It is estimated that approximately RM2.4 billion is needed for flood-prone and slope failure, and RM1.2 billion for SKM are required to relocate and rebuild the schools.
“For the merging of SKM, besides the need for funding, we also need full support from the local community,” he explained.
Meanwhile, in response to the request to build new secondary schools in the Batu Kitang and Tanjung Batu constituencies, Sagah mentioned that for Batu Kitang, the plan to establish a new school is being studied, taking into account several factors, including the estimated increase in student enrolment in nearby schools.
“As for Tanjung Datu, the Ministry of Education (MOE) has approved the building of one secondary school within Bintulu town under the 12th Malaysia Plan (RMK-12).
“JPNS has identified a suitable location for the new school which would be included in the Rolling Plan 4 RMK-12,” he added.
Earlier, Batu Kitang assemblyman Lo Khere Chiang, in his debate speech, advocated for the construction of a new secondary school in the Batu Kitang constituency to accommodate the growing number of students.
Furthermore, Sagah clarified in a related matter that the project to complete the abandoned works at SK Long Sukang, Lawas, has been approved under the Rolling Plan 2, RMK-12.
“Public Works Department (JKR) Malaysia had carried out a thorough inspection on March 9, 2022 and concluded that there is a need to carry out detailed structural analysis to verify the structural integrity of the abandoned buildings,” he noted.
He went on to say that JKR Malaysia is in the midst of appointing the consultant and the project direction can only be determined once the analysis is done.
“It is sad to note that the Yang Berhormat (YB) for Ba’ Kelalan is always showing concern about this project but when he had full authority over JKR Malaysia, he did not do anything to expedite the completion of the project,” Sagah pointed out. — DayakDaily