58 per cent completed

File photo shows a classroom in a dilapidated primary school in Sarawak.

SIBU: Fifty-eight per cent, or 67 out of the 116 approved repair and upgrading projects for dilapidated schools in Sarawak have reached completion this year.

According to an officer from the Ministry of Education (MoE) in Putrajaya, the remaining 49 projects should reach completion by the end of the year.

“Sarawak received 116 projects from the total 394 projects (to repair dilapidated schools) nationwide. As of Sept 30 this year, 67 projects from the total 116 approved for Sarawak have been completed,” the officer told The Borneo Post when contacted yesterday.

Recently, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik said since Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over the federal government, more than 10 per cent of dilapidated schools in Malaysia had been repaired.

“We have repaired 394 schools, which exceeded the target of 10 per cent of (dilapidated) schools since we took over the government. Next year, we hope to achieve 50 per cent.

“I will make sure that students and teachers would be able to learn and teach in a comfortable environment. Currently, most of the repair works are on schools in the interiors of Sabah and Sarawak,” the minister told reporters after launching the ‘Johor Harapan’ free bus service at Simpang Renggam in Kluang, Johor recently.

Maszlee’s statement, however, prompted Sarawak’s Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin to enquire the whereabouts of the ’10-per cent repaired schools’.

“Maybe the 10-per cent (of dilapidated schools) are in Peninsular Malaysia, not in Sarawak,” Manyin told reporters at the closing the ‘Junior Innovate Sarawak Finals 2018 and NextSparks Competition’ in Saradise Innovation Space in Kuching recently.

Manyin also mentioned that the contracts issued for the 116 dilapidated schools in Sarawak on Feb 29 under the previous Barisan Nasional (BN)-led government, were to incorporate the Industrialised Building System (IBS) into the construction.

It was reported that out of the 116 schools, 50 are being handled by the Public Works Department (JKR) Sarawak, while 66 are under the MoE.

“If we’re to repair and rebuild all the dilapidated schools in Sarawak, the total number (of schools) would be 1,020. The number of schools in critically dilapidated condition is 425 – these are the ones that need to be rebuilt,” Manyin was quoted as having said.

According to him, Sarawak needs at least RM5 billion to repair and rebuild dilapidated schools across all its divisions; thus the federal government would have to spend RM2.5 billion to achieve the 50 per cent target.

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