By Nigel Edgar
KUCHING, Dec 20: SMK Pending is in dire need of more classrooms to accommodate the rising number of students.
Its principal, Yong Ing Thung, said starting next year’s session, the school would be welcoming some 1,400 students, but the school only has 45 classrooms.
Although the school has morning and afternoon sessions, it was still barely enough to accommodate the students.
“Morning session, Form 6 alone we have about 400 students and 16 classrooms to accommodate them. We have Form 4 and Form 5 also in the morning session.
“Form 1 to Form 3 (are held in the) afternoon session. In fact, Form 1 and Form 6 are sharing classrooms,” he told reporters during a cheque-presentation ceremony this morning.
Ing Thung received cheques totalling RM95,000 from Pending assemblywoman Violet Yong and Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii for the school to fix its dilapidated football field and the field’s access road.
Although it was well and good that the elected reps contributed the amount to fix the school’s football field, he said the school is also in dire need of infrastructure upgrades and repairs, especially four school blocks with leaky roofs, and to roof a multipurpose court for the afternoon session students to wait at before entering class.
“We have conveyed all this to the Education Department already, and we are waiting for them to give us some feedback,” he said.
Violet, meanwhile, highlighted the need to continue a proposed new school block project mooted by the previous government for Form 6 students.
“What happened is SMK Pending has become a centralised school for Form 6 students in Bandar Kuching. Previously, SMK Bandar Kuching No. 1 and SMK Bandar Kuching No. 2 had Form 6 classes but they were closed down, and students from there had to go to SMK Pending for Form 6.
“The previous government also intended to build a new block for the Form 6 students, which has to materialise. This school is in need of that project, and I hope the Education Department would be able to assist this school on that as well as on the upgrade of some of its infrastructure,” she said.
Dr Yii said he had received reports from the Education Department but, nonetheless, took the effort to go to almost every school in his constituency and also to see and hear for himself the conditions of the schools, and from students and teachers, including staff.
“We will continue to do this (contributing funds) even next year because we believe in every form of education to equip and to empower our young for the future of our country,” he said. — DayakDaily