Education Department chided for inadequate furnishing of school

(From left) Masing points out the missing window panes to Lau, engineer Janang Bungsu and Belayong.

Masing (left) inspects an unfurnished classroom.

KAPIT: The Education Department has been chided for not providing enough desks and chairs for classrooms at SMK Baleh, as well as failing to supply mattresses for its hostels.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing complained that the school had empty classrooms with no furniture, while some louvre windows were without panes.

“What type of school is this? That to me is a great disappointment. Just now, I went around to check on the condition of the classrooms accompanied by the school principal Mr Lau (Yuk Huck), who gave me the report as soon as he took over the school earlier,” he complained during a recent visit.

“We want students here to do well but conditions like this, how can they? No tables or chairs. If they sit on the floor, how to study well? You want them to do well in their studies, at least the basic infrastructure must be there.”

He explained that there are only enough tables and chairs for the current number of students, with none to spare for new intakes.

“This is a serious problem the Education Department must resolve quickly,” he stressed.

Masing also complained about the hostels which did not have mattresses.

“I spoke to Kapit Resident Joseph Belayong (Punan) about it. The Kapit Resident’s Office has about 200 over mattress not used since Sejiwa Senada 2015. They have not been used since then, so now I am going to get the money to bring them here. Whatever is required – the mattresses with pillows, bedsheets etc. The cost to transport here, I will use my funds for that,” he said.

Masing pointed out that the students needed quality sleep to be able to concentrate on their studies.

“That is why I am very, very disappointed with the Education Department for not looking into it. We want students here to be smart, to study well. How can you do that without enough facilities in the school – a classroom without desks and chairs, or hostels without pillows or mattresses,” he lamented.

SMK Baleh currently has 243 students in Form 1 to 5 and 29 teachers. Although the school is designed to accommodate up to 500 students, many parents chose to send their children to SMK Selirik or SMK Kapit here. SMK Baleh is a two-hour journey by boat from here.

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