SK Kuala Nyalau, SK Kampung Nyalau stay as they are for now — Assistant Minister

Dr Annuar is seen elaborating on the low enrolment schools issue in the DUN in this screenshot taken from the DUN in-house broadcast feed.

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, April 30: There is no plan yet to merge SK Kuala Nyalau and SK Kampung Nyalau, the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) heard today.

Assistant Minister of Education and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapeee said SK Kuala Nyalau (147 students and 14 teachers) and SK Kampung Nyalau (84 students and 14 teachers) were ideal candidates for a merger but “at the moment, we could not promise or there is no plan to merge them yet”.

In replying to Samalaju assemblyman Majang Renggi (GPS-Samalaju), Dr Annuar said a school is considered to have low enrolment when it has less than 150 students.

“But for merging, there are a few criteria we have to look into. The most important is the consent of communities and parents, agreeing that the schools are merged as either one of them has to be moved.

“Therefore, one particular school will be the anchor school, and it needs to have space where the extension can be done,” he said.

As for the suitability of the site, Dr Annuar pointed out that the area, including the road, should not be flood prone, free from landslide and, most importantly, has road access to the school.

“In addition, the school should be in an area with existing basic amenities such as water and electricity supply, and we also want to consider the proximity of this site to any healthcare services before we can decide if this particular site is good enough as the new school for the (low enrolment) schools to be merged,” he elaborated.

As of March 31 this year, he told the august House that there are 723 public schools or Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) and 125 Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Cina) or SJK(C) in the state that are categorised as low enrolment schools.

“We actually have done a lot of homework, including (identifying) the land, and engaging the YBs (elected representatives), PIBGs (parent-teacher associations) and other stakeholders on merging these schools because we know the proposal is important for school performance as well as resources that we have.

“But, unfortunately, the RM1 billion (allocation) is not here yet for us to proceed with what needs to be done for the (education) of the state of Sarawak,” he said. — DayakDaily