KUCHING, Jan 4: A State PKR leader has urged Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong to reveal whether the state has received the promised RM1 billion allocation to repair dilapidated schools in the state.
Manyin was also urged to reveal whether Putrajaya has agreed to allow the state government to manage the allocation to ensure that there will be no delay or leakages and that the projects to repair and replace the dilapidated schools will be completed speedily.
“The minister should also disclose whether and how far the state ministry has gone to identify and select the critically dilapidated schools which are given the priority to be rebuilt, when will the tenders be called and when will these projects be completed,” said PKR state vice-chairman See Chee How.
See, who is also Batu Lintang assemblyman, said children are starting their new school year and it is crucial to bear in mind that 1,020 out of a total of 1,454 schools in the state are classified as being in deplorable states with 415 said to be in critically dilapidated states.
“Although the allocation (RM1 billion for Sarawak to repair dilapidated schools under the 2018 federal budget) is insufficient and the honourable minister has asked for another RM3 billion under the special allocations and the 11th Malaysian Plan to rebuild and replace all the critical dilapidated schools, all Sarawakians are wary and watchful whether the RM1 billion allocation will materialize,” he told a press conference today.
In the State Legislative Assembly in November last year, Manyin had said that his ministry had identified 110 critically dilapidated schools to be rebuilt with the RM1 billion federal budgetary allocation for 2018.
“Where is the money? What is the schedule for the commencement and completion of these school building and construction projects?
“It is unquestionable that the deplorable infrastructural facilities in our schools, together with other factors such as the lack of teaching and learning resources, lack of qualified teachers and a less competitive learning environment has lead to Sarawak being rooted to the bottom, in terms of ranking based on the average overall student passes in public examinations in the country,” See said.
On issues pertaining to education, See stressed that it is crucial for the children’s future and Sarawakians should stand together.
“I have no doubt that Manyin is as anxious and wary as we in the opposition are, that whether the promised allocations are merely pies in the sky or pots of gold at the end of the rainbow,” said See. — DayakDaily