KUCHING, Oct 5: The issue may be an old one, but Sarawak Teachers Union (STU) president Jisin Nyud will continue to highlight the plights of teachers and pupils in the rural areas, especially the fact that their schools are in urgent need of repair to prevent any untoward incidents.
“As president of STU, I always think about the welfare of our teachers and pupils in the rural areas, where many schools are dilapidated and facilities like road, water and electricity are still lacking.
“My hope is for the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government to give top priority to Sarawak as we have so many schools that either need urgent repairs or in urgent need of better facilities like roads, electricity and water,” Jisin told DayakDaily today.
He hoped Education Minister Dr Mazslee Malik would give top priority to Sarawak as it is the biggest state in the country and had the highest number of dilapidated schools.
“We had a meeting with him in Putrajaya recently, and he assured us that the PH government would not discriminate against Sarawak in disbursing funds for our schools. So, we hope he will keep his words on this issue,” disclosed Jisin.
Jisin also hoped the state government would upgrade roads, electricity, water and internet connectivity to rural schools.
“And I wish that all schools in Sarawak will soon be connected to the grid system as generator sets are very inconvenient for both teachers and students. This is especially so because we are now focusing on the digital economy.
“And which better place to start with than schools where students can learn the necessary tools to help advance the development of the country?” he argued.
Jisin was commenting on a news report that next year’s budget allocation for education was expected to focus on improving the infrastructure of dilapidated schools, repairing existing schools and empowering Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at universities.
It was reported by Bernama that Maszlee had revealed that since the PH took over the federal government, more than 10 per cent of dilapidated schools had been repaired.
“As of 2018, we have repaired 394 schools, which exceeded the target of 10 per cent of schools, since we took over the government. Next year, we hope to achieve 50 per cent.
“I will make sure that students and teachers can learn and teach in a comfortable environment. (Currently), most of the repair works are for schools in the interior of Sabah and Sarawak,” he told reporters after launching the ‘Johor Harapan’ free bus service in Simpang Renggam, today.
Meanwhile, Jisin said STU currently has more than 18,000 members across Sarawak. — DayakDaily