KUCHING: The practicality of Industrialised Building System (IBS) to upgrade dilapidated schools came under scrutiny when some projects in Kuching, Kota Samarahan and Bau which were supposed to be 100 per cent completed, were found to be barely 15 per cent in progress.
Project documents sighted by The Borneo Post showed that SK Asajaya Ulu in Kota Samarahan was supposed to get six classrooms, a science laboratory and four toilets.
The project was scheduled to start on Feb 26 this year and completed by May 27 this year.
The school with 264 students, 27 teachers and six supporting staff will have to wait much longer as the project is only 19 per cent progressing.
The school presently has two preschool classrooms and 10 classrooms.
For SK Kampung Melayu, also in Samarahan, the project document showed the school will also be getting six classrooms, a laboratory and four toilets.
The project officially started on March 5 and was expected to be completed by June 3 this year. However, only 16 per cent of the works were completed.
SK Kampung Melayu currently has 245 students, 20 teachers and six classrooms.
Meanwhile, SK Endap, also in Samarahan with 259 students and 24 teachers, was expected to get six classrooms, a laboratory and four toilets by June 3, but only 15 per cent of the works were completed.
The same goes for SK Matang Jaya, Kuching that has 1,216 students and 70 teachers.
It will also have to wait for the delivery of six new classrooms as the project that was scheduled for completion on May 20 this year was only 15 per cent completed.
SK Tan Sri Datuk Mohamed, Taman Malihah in Kuching with an enrolment of 1,036 students fared better as the contractor was able to complete 63 per cent of the works that were supposed to be completed by this June 19.
Over in Bau, SK Senibong, which was supposed to get six new classrooms, a laboratory and six toilets, saw only 15 per cent of the project progressing.
The project that started on Feb 26 this year was supposed to benefit 76 students and 12 teachers who are currently relying on seven classrooms, one preschool and one science laboratory.
Director-general of Implementation and Co-ordination Unit (ICU) in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Ahmad Zaki Ansore, told The Borneo Post the projects were awarded to a company via a package costing RM21,600,000.
Zaki, who was visibly upset by the poor progress, blamed the whole fiasco on the contractor’s poor management of the projects.
The Borneo Post had sent a WhatsApp message to Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik but had not got any response at press time.
Apart from late delivery, IBS school projects were also notorious for damaging kampung roads that took more than 50 years to be tar-sealed but just one trip of the contractor’s lorry carrying 12 tonnes of each structure to destroy.
Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, in tabling Budget 2018 last October, announced the allocation of RM2.5 billion to fix 2,000 dilapidated schools nationwide using the IBS technology.
Sarawak and Sabah were each allocated RM1 billion for the project.