LONG BEDIAN : It is possible for SK Long Bedian to be upgraded to Sekolah Model Khas K11 from current K9 (Kohort 9), due to increased student enrolment from the local community in and around Long Bedian.
Minister of Welfare, Women and Family Development Datuk Fatimah Abdullah yesterday said SK Long Bedian started operations as Sekolah K9 in 2012 by offering Form 1 class to cater for Penan, Kayan and Kenyah pupils to continue with secondary schooling near their homes.
Speaking at the opening of the school’s new block yesterday, Fatimah said the school has helped to reduce the number of dropouts for lack of a secondary school.
Kohort 9 or Cohort is where both primary and secondary schools (Year 1 to Form 3) are placed in the same school. SK Long Bedian in Baram is the only K9 school in Sarawak and the second in Malaysia.
“The government is aware and concerned about the problem faced by the people in Long Bedian, especially on dropouts as pupils are forced to continue secondary school education elsewhere because there is no secondary school in Long Bedian,” she added.
Fatimah said the school was established to lessen school dropouts and at the same time increase the capacity of the school in terms of the number of students and teachers. It also saw improved facilities like classes, teachers’ room and hostel.
“The concept has been proven to be effective through the increase in enrolment into Year 1 and Form 1 students this year. If this trend continues yearly, there is possibility of the school to be upgraded to K11 which offers Form 4 to 5 classes,” said Fatimah.
Combination of pre-school, primary and lower secondary school helps to reduce the transfer of pupils and reduce the number of dropouts from primary to secondary schools.
As of March 31, 2013, both the pupils and student enrolment in SK Long Bedian were 389 in total.
According to Fatimah, the school has benefited the Penan, Kenyah and Kayan communities in Long Latie, Long Beluk, Long Kerangan, Long Sayan, Long Win, Long Bangan, Long Dolah, Long Leng, Long Nen and Long Bedian in middle Baram.
Prior to this, they had to continue lower secondary at SMK Tutoh Apoh and SMK Long Lama. The feeder schools from SK Long Bedian are SK Long Kevok, SK Long Pelutan, SK Long Luteng, SK Long Bedian, SK Long Bemang, SK Batu Bungan and SK Long Seridan.
“It is hoped that this new school will stimulate and encourage the pupils and teachers to strive for a brighter future,” she added.
At the same function, Fatimah handed over 1Malaysia netbooks to around 140 students of the school.