Wednesday, November 13

Shocker over condition of schools

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Dr Annuar (seated, third left), and Hii (seated, second left) with some of the male boarders of one of the DS3 schools.

SIBU: Assistant Minister of Education and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapaee was disheartened at the appalling conditions of two secondary boarding schools and a primary school here which have been classified as Category 3 dilapidated schools (DS3).

Explaining that DS3 meant that the schools are old and rundown, he observed that both the structures and facilities at the first two schools were in deplorable conditions.

“There are 1,020 dilapidated schools in Sarawak, of which 415 are under Category 3, while 210 in Category 2, and 395 in Category 1. DS3 is the worst among all categories. Hence it is the right time for the state’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research to take charge, especially in maintenance and refurbishment as well as development (of these schools), and not depending on federal contractors,” the Nangka assemblyman said.

In the first school here, which he visited yesterday, one of the building blocks had been declared unsafe and is out of bounds for students. Dr Annuar, who is also Assistant Minister of Housing and Public Health, was also sad to see the sorry state of the male hostel at the school.

“Window panes were missing and in their place were newspapers. There is poor ventilation and in one of the rooms, the fan was in a sorry state,” he lamented, adding the washing area for male boarders was also not in good condition. The school in question has hostels for male and female boarders, located some distance from one another.

The damaged gutter at the boys’ hostel.

The wooden block, which was formerly the male hostel, is no longer in use due to its rundown state, he noted.

Dr Annuar’s visit to the other secondary boarding school, located in the outskirts of Sibu, proved no less disheartening.

He pointed out that the washroom for female boarders was not in a good condition had rusted overhead pipes. Moving to the boys’ hostel, he noted the doors of the rooms had come loose and posed a danger to students.

“The chairs and tables are in bad shape while mattresses are worn out and had not been changed for many years. The structures of the beds are shaky while some of the mattresses and pillows are no longer fit for use,” he lamented.

One of the rain gutters at the boys’ hostels had come off and missing railings at a section of the building endangered the lives of students, who risk falling from the structure.

“The drains need to be cleared as mosquito larvae can be clearly seen,” Dr Annuar pointed out.

On his visit to a primary school at the outskirts of town, he said both the hall the living skills room were not in good condition, while a section of fencing surrounding the school was damaged.

He added that the purpose of his visit to the three schools, classified as DS3, was to see the condition of the schools ‘with my own eyes’.

Joining Dr Annuar yesterday were Sibu Resident Hii Chang Kee, State Education Department representative Mahmud Azraii, and Sibu District Education Office representative Awang Zaini Awang Noh.