KUCHING: SMK Sungai Tapang is in dire need of funds for it to create a learning environment conducive to its students.
According to its parent-teacher association (PTA) chairman Kho Kien Siong, the funding for the majority of repair works on the school are from the PTA coffers and also contributions by the parents.
“Some of the parents even decided to come and fix the faulty facilities themselves,” he told reporters during the ‘Excellence Awards’ presentation event yesterday at the school, which is located at Jalan Liu Shan Bang in Kota Sentosa near here.
“We really hope that the federal and state governments would look into this issue seriously and allocate the much-needed funds to us.
“As the chairman of SMK Sungai Tapang PTA, it is my outmost responsibility to protect the interest of the school, in that it is a mandate given by the parents,” he said in his opening remarks.
He pointed out broken ceiling fans, doors and tables as among the many facilities at the
school that needed immediate attention.
“We’ve exhausted all channels of communications to request for the necessary funds, but to no avail,” Kho lamented.
He said making the matter worse was that many people did not know the location of the school.
On the four science laboratories that were razed by fire in 2016, Kho said the physical construction of these facilities had reached completion, but the fund received was not sufficient to purchase all the necessary equipment.
“Funding requests have been sent to the Education Ministry, but we have not received any reply so far.”
Kho said the repair works on the school must not be delayed as this would affect the students, who might have to study without the proper facilities and equipment.
“For example, an incomplete laboratory might affect students’ competency as they could not practise fully what they had learnt, especially for those sitting for their SPM (Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia) examinations this month,” he stressed.
It is learned that the school would need at least RM50,000 to purchase all the required equipment and materials for its laboratories.
“Through the media, I hope that the public would be aware of the difficulties that the school is facing,” Kho appealed, stressing that he was not, in any way, putting the blame on any party or individual with regard to the current situation at SMK Sungai Tapang – his only hope would be for these problems to be addressed and solved promptly.
It is learnt that the school has 1,085 students.
Meanwhile, SMK Sungai Tapang principal Bekon Jenet pointed out overusing as one of the factors contributing to the very poor condition of the boys’ toilet – a subject that had been causing unease and embarrassment among the male students.
“Many parents have been asking what the PTA has done to solve the issue, but we have already exhausted all means to solve it,” said Bekon, listing missing wash-basins, plumbing blockage and leakages as the major problems at the boys’ toilet.
It is reported that Sarawak Education Department has channelled RM20,000 to Kota Samarahan Education Office, meant for the repair works on the boys’ toilet at Sungai Tapang, but the amount is deemed insufficient.
An inspection on boys’ toilet verified Bekon’s claims – indeed, it was in desperate need of repairs. One did not even need to enter the facility to catch the nauseating stench coming from the inside.
In his closing remarks, Kho admitted that it had been really difficult for the school to obtain the much-needed fund.
“It seems like many do not care about the development of SMK Sungai Tapang at all,” he lamented.
Meanwhile, the event at the school went on smoothly yesterday.
Bekon, in congratulating all the award recipients, also expressed his hope that the students would continue to strive for success, and to make themselves and their families proud.