Sunday, January 19

IPG Batu Lintang to be ‘garden campus’ next year


WHAT'S INTERESTING?: Hambali (second left) visiting one of the exhibition booths together with chairman of the Environmental Club Datu Farid Datu Liman (left), club advisor Murugan Ratamun (third left) at the IPG Brooke hall yesterday.

KUCHING: Batu Lintang Teachers Training College (IPG Batu Lintang), the third oldest of its kind in the country, is set to become a ‘garden campus’ by June next year after undergoing a major facelift estimated to cost around RM74 million.

According to the college’s director Awang Hambali Awang Hamdan, the project began in January last year and is absolutely necessary as the current facilities are aged.

“The upgrading works will involve the resource centre, administration block, academic block, hostels and recreational facilities,” said Hambali during the launch of the inaugural environment exhibition organised by the college’s Environment Club yesterday.

Hambali forecasted that the college would be able to take in more trainees after the upgrading works are done.

“Currently we have 1,600 trainees with a steady increase each year,” said Hambali.

He also disclosed that 40 per cent of the trainees were from Sarawak while another 60 per cent were made up of trainees from
Sabah and Semenanjung Malaysia.

Regarding the historical buildings in the campus such as the Brooke Hall which was donated by Sir Charles Vyner Brooke and the British government, Hambali gave his assurance that they would be preserved.

Hambali also said the museum building which houses artifacts dating back to the Japanese occupation would be maintained.

On another note, Hambali said the college’s Nature Club would play an instrumental role in realising the garden campus concept.

“Even though the club is still in the infancy stage, several activities were already held which garnered an encouraging response,” added Hambali.

Among the month-long activities, he said, are the treasure hunt, innovation competition, poetry competition and sales of recycled products.

“Such activities should also be enacted in schools as well as institutes of higher learning,” said Hambali, suggesting that the go-green concept should be started early in one’s lives.

He also pointed out that creating awareness on the environment is important to ensure that the earth’s eco-system is sustained, and that the activities would benefit the trainees by making them more sensitive towards the environment.

Hambali believes that once the trainees are posted to schools across the country, they will be able to play their roles as green ambassadors.

Several government and private agencies such as World Wildlife Foundation Malaysia, Trienekens, Sarawak Forestry Department and Kuching City North Council took part in the exhibition yesterday.