SERIAN: The construction of centralised schools to replace under-enrolled schools (SKMs) in Sarawak may begin next February.
Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael Manyin said due to this urgency, community leaders and village chiefs are urged to assist the government in informing parents about the benefits of centralised schools.
He also said district education offices (PPDs) would meet parents in rural areas where under-enrolled schools are to be closed.
“We plan to build centralised schools early next year. Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg had said to me, ‘If possible, we start in February’.
“It’s a tall order for me so I take this opportunity to tell the village chiefs and community leaders to help inform the parents.
“I believe the academic results will be greatly improved. The government has set aside an allocation of RM1 billion for this,” he said when officiating at the second biennial meeting of Serian Division Bidayuh Village Chiefs and Community Leaders Association at Dewan Masyarakat Serian yesterday.
The Tebedu assemblyman said the state Education Department had come up with recommendations on which schools to be closed and where the centralised schools would be located.
He added that almost all primary schools in Serian were categorised under SKM or with pupil population below 150.
“There is a school with just 12 pupils. Based on the proposal, many schools will be closed, and the pupils transferred to a centralised school.
“There will be better facilities at the centralised school, and the students will have specialist teachers and enjoy better environment, which will motivate them to achieve the best results,” he said.
He also mentioned that as minister of education, it’s his duty to ensure the young generation are prepared for the digital economy and Industrial Revolution 4.0.
Manyin also shared words of advice to the community leaders and village chiefs; expressing his wish to see more Bidayuhs participate in commercial agriculture.
Meanwhile, the meeting saw Temenggong Henry Bujang Sadok retained as the association’s chairman while Pemanca Kane Manung was elected the new deputy chairman.
Elections were also held for the various posts in the association.