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By Nancy Nais
KUCHING, Jan 28: Sekolah Kebangsaan Jalan Arang’s multipurpose hall has finally been completed, after three years of experiencing delays.
The RM400,000 project was implemented through the open tender system during the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government administration and approved by former Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Chong Chieng Jen via the Stampin MP Special Allocation Fund.
Speaking at the launch today, Chong, who is Sarawak DAP chairman and Stampin MP said the inevitable delay was due to the Covid-19 movement control order where construction work was temporarily stopped.
The hall was initially scheduled to be completed in April 2020.
Headed by headmaster Edward Peter Bajat, the school currently has 744 students as well as 64 teachers and staffs.
“I am a person who feel education is of great importance. It is not only for our children’s future, but for Malaysia as well.
“Several years ago, the Parents and Teachers Association (PIBG) SK Jalan Arang made many applications to relevant authorities to build the multipurpose hall. Now that it is complete, the hall can provide better and comfortable facilities for students, teachers and school staff to hold various curricular activities such as sports, arts and academics,” Chong said.
Sharing his sorrow over Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek’s recent statement on Sarawak having over 500 dilapidated schools, Chong lamented the education quality and dangers faced by students, teachers and school staff.
Fadhlina said in Sarawak the ministry had identified 455 dilapidated schools which are on a scale of six and 113 dilapidated schools on a scale of seven.
Schools assessed to be on a scale of six and seven refer to those with hazardous building conditions which are unsafe for use.
She added that they will prioritise solving the issue of dilapidated schools in Sarawak and that will be among the Federal government’s main focus in the 2023 Budget.
“It is very sad. What has happen to our State? We formed Malaysia almost 60 years ago, yet, today we have over 500 dilapidated schools.
“It shows that there is corruption and misdirection by the previous government.There are just too much corruption and abuse of power in the past,” Chong added.
However, with the new government under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Chong is positive that things will change for the better.
“Anwar has emphasised anti-corruption as an important movement in his administration, prioritising education and development for the country.
“I hope that the government will quickly repair these dilapidated schools in Sarawak as soon as possible because it is unfair to our students.,” Chong said. — DayakDaily