Funding the main problem to resolve dilapidated school issues nationwide

KUCHING, July 27: Lack of funds remain the main problem for the Pakatan Harapan-led Federal Government to immediately tackle issues of dilapidated schools nationwide, said Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching.

There are more than 3,000 dilapidated schools across the country that the Works Ministry deemed “unsafe to be occupied”, she explained.

“We will look for the best solution so that these dilapidated schools may be upgraded as soon as possible.  The main problem that we are facing right now is allocation.

“We are all fully aware that the financial situation of the country is not that healthy but the Education Ministry under Pakatan Harapan is committed to overcome the whole issue (of dilapidated schools) but please give us time to come up with a detailed plan,” Teo told reporters after paying her last respects to Catherine Janet Tiwi at  Kampung Skio, Bau, today.

(From left) Mas Gading MP Mordi Bimol, Pending Assemblywoman Violet Yong and Teo spending some time with Catherine’s father Tiwi Nios and mother Wency Seimon.

“I fully understand that the issue has been dragged on for too long  but please understand that we only took over the government slightly more than two months ago. We really need more time to look into it,” Teo continued.

On the issue of delayed school upgrading projects undertaken by the Education Department, she said she personally had not seen any report on these projects.

A total of RM21.6 million had been allocated by the previous Barisan Nasional Federal Government, where the projects were to be completed between Feb 26 and May 27 this year.

About 116 schools were identified ,with 50 projects given to the Works Ministry and the rest undertaken by the Education Ministry.

Works Minister Baru Bian recently said that projects handled by his ministry were running smoothly with only a few delayed projects. The majority of delayed projects were the ones under the Education Ministry and Teo promised she would look into the issue.

“I do not want to give you a timeline.  It is not realistic because we have about 3,000 schools in the whole of Malaysia, not only in Sarawak and Sabah.  The amount we are talking about is huge and therefore, we need to sit down and look into it.

“I don’t want to give you any promises otherwise, you will be even more disappointed,” she said. — DayakDaily