SANDAKAN: The improvement made to school facilities in the state shows the government’s commitment in the education sector, said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman.
Speaking at the official opening of SMK Merpati here yesterday, Musa said the Barisan Nasional (BN) government had made education a priority whereby various improvement efforts were being made.
“Among the improvements that are apparent are not only the establishment of new schools to meet the increasing population but also the disbursement of millions of ringgit in allocations to upgrade the facilities in all types of schools in the country,” he said.
He added that the government was also concerned about the burden faced by parents, especially during the early years education of their children, thus it decided to gave RM100 of early school assistance to all students.
Commenting on the official opening of the school’s new building, Musa said the state government had tried to provide the best facilities for students and it could be seen in the schools, such as an air-conditioned hall.
“Not only for this school, but for other schools in this state,” he added.
The ceremony was also attended by State Education director Jame Alip, State deputy director of education Hajah Maimunah Haji Suhaibul, and Sandakan district education officer Sharif Mahada Sharif Hatta.
SMK Merpati was established on 17 January 2000 but had to share a building with Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK Merpati) before having their own building on 9 August 2010 located next to SK Merpati.
Musa added Sabah had been fortunate to have a Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister who were attentive to the education needs of the state.
“They knew that Sabah as the second largest state in the country will definitely need many schools,” he said.
The Chief Minister recalled in 2000 he was approached by the principal of SMK Merpati seeking assistance to get the school its own building.
At that time, SMK Merpati was sharing the school building belonging to SK Merpati.
Thankfully, he said SMK Merpati now has its own building with over 1,000 students and as the Chief Minister, he was happy since it was the aspiration of the government to see as many schools being built in Sabah.
The people were also happy because they understand that with more schools, there would be more children having access to education, he said.
“We will not relent in our effort to ensure more schools will be built in Sabah. What is important is the good relationship between the state and federal governments,” he said.
Musa also praised the dedication and commitment of the Education Department personnel as well as teachers in moulding a quality human capital with personality.
He also believed that academic excellence would be achieved if there is cooperation between all quarters namely teachers and parents.
Towards this end, he said he had all this while reminded Barisan Nasional (BN) elected representatives to give more attention to the schools and Parent-Teacher Associations in their respective constituencies.
Musa said the National Education Blueprint (2013-2025) that was being implemented in three phases would be able to improve education quality in the country.
“This is among the efforts of the BN to ensure people in the country, including Sabah, will have access to quality education,” he said.
He also said the setting up of the education hub here was also part of the government’s commitment to boost academic excellence.
“We hope the people will continue to give us (BN) the mandate in order to continue all the development programmes that have been planned and some currently in progress will be able to be completed,” he said.
Later, Musa visited nearby SMK Taman Fajar, which was among the top three schools in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) passing rate last year to launch the education carnival and students’ excellence award presentation ceremony.