Make lifts standard design in schools to preserve teachers’ knees, Abang Johari tells federal govt

Abang Johari (back row, fourth left) and others witness the handing over of SK Merpati Jepang's new administrative and academic blocks project between Dr Zaiedi (front row, left) and Richard (front row, right) at the school on March 22, 2023. Photo: Sarawak Information Department (JaPen)

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, March 22: Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg opines that lifts should be included in the construction standard of building schools.

He was attending a project handover for SK Merpati Jepang’s new administrative and academic blocks at the school here today which saw the new buildings equipped with lifts for teachers’ use.

“Our rural schools are very dilapidated. But this (SK Merpati Jepang’s new look) represents the standard of our school. Thus, I hope the federal government would follow this standard.

“There are no schools with lifts. This is the first. Soon, SK Rakyat Jalan Haji Bolhassan will follow suit.

“If there is no lift, teachers have to walk up and down the stairs and their ‘kepala lutut’ (knee cap) would hurt. But if we let teachers use lift, this would benefit them. If their ‘kepala lutut’ hurts, how can they teach?” he said when speaking at the function.

He argued that lift maintenance would not be costly as the schools can take up a yearly contract and seek assistance from their assemblymen for any repairs or replace dysfunctional lifts.

He also said Education Department had voiced objection to the idea but he defended the need to build lifts for the use of teachers, adding that the lifts can be customised with pass codes so that they will not be abused by students.

During a press conference after the event, Abang Johari said SK Rakyat Jalan Haji Bolhassan and SMK Tun Abang Haji Openg would also be upgraded with lifts.

He also said the Sarawak government would repair SK Maludam in Betong, SK Penasu in Daro and SK Ulu Segan in Bintulu alongside other schools under Projek Rakyat at a total cost of about RM160 million.

Also present were Deputy Minister for Education, Innovation and Talent Development (Talent Development) Datuk Francis Harden Hollis; Ministry of Education, Innovation and Talent Development (MEITD) Sarawak permanent secretary Azmi Bujang; Satok assemblyman Dato Ibrahim Baki; Education Advisor at Sarawak Premier’s Office Datuk Amar Michael Manyin Jawong; Sarawak Public Works Department (JKR) director Richard Tajan and SK Merpati Jepang Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) president Dato Dr Zaiedi Suhaili. — DayakDaily