By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, May 11: The Education Ministry has agreed to take up Sarawak government’s loan offer of RM1 billion to repair and upgrade dilapidated schools in the state.
Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the money had been set aside for this purpose and that his administration was waiting to work out a formula agreeable with the federal and state governments.
“Education Minister (Dr Maszlee Malik), when we met last time, discussed this matter with me. This matter will be implemented as soon as possible once there is an agreement between the federal and state governments,” he said at the state-level Teachers’ Day celebration in Sri Aman today.
The chief minister told those present that he had already prepared the cheques for the allocation, which would be released in stages over two years.
He added that once the deal is signed, RM300 million would be disbursed first, followed by RM300 million next and finally RM400 million.
“For its implementation, I will leave it to the Education Department. We are giving priority to education,” stressed Abang Johari.
On education issues, he reckoned the state and federal governments had to put aside their political differences for the benefit of the younger generations.
“Despite the change in the federal administration, I am taking an approach where we forget about that (our differences) and we emphasise on education.
“We (state government) have taken several initiatives to set up a good ecosystem for our children to study. Firstly, the school environment has to be optimal — the building comfortable and even the teachers’ quarters are also comfortable,” he said. — DayakDaily