By Christopher Lidom
KUCHING, March 31: SJK(C) Tapah is currently short of RM2 million to finishing constructing its new school block.
Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian said that the school is under the purview of the Federal government, which explains why it is not entitled to the Sarawak government’s special allocation to aided Chinese primary schools in the region.
“Irrespective of that, it is still a Chinese school, that is why we try to help in other ways,” he told reporters after meeting with SJK(C) Tapah school management board members at his office in Wisma Bapa Malaysia today.
He added, so far, the school board managed to raise RM3.2 million out of the RM4.3 million needed for the project tender.
On why the reason why the school board need the RM2 million fund, Dr Sim said it is to fill the classroom with chairs, tables and many others.
“So the minimum they need to raise is RM2 million,” he said.
SJK(C) Tapah was established in 1965 and is located at KM35, Jalan Kuching-Serian and currently has an enrollment of 369 students, 29 teachers and five non-teaching staff.
The two school building blocks are made of wood, and have been standing for 58 years, as students and teachers are forced to put up with the aging and severely damaged wooden walls, roof, gutters, drainage and cracking floors.
Due to this critical situation, the School Management Board plans to build a new reinforced concrete classroom building block to replace the unsafe and severely damaged wooden school buildings since 2015.
After years of planning and raising funds, the new school building construction began in January 2022 and was supposed to be completed by June 2023 at a cost of RM5 million.
Due to the unexpected rise of construction cost after the Covid-19 pandemic, the school is now short of RM2 million to complete the whole project, including the basic facilities needed by the students and teachers.
Also present at the meeting were Yayasan Sarawak’s board of trustees and Kuching Chung Hua Middle School (CHMS) No 1,3 and 4 Board of Management Committee chairman Dato Richard Wee, as well as Association of Aided Chinese Primary Schools Kuching, Samarahan and Serian Divisions president Datuk Jonathan Chai. — DayakDaily