SIBU (Aug 2): Sarawak has helped former Welfare Department institution children to continue their studies or to receive skills training since 2017, said Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah.
The Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development Minister was responding to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s announcement of a task force comprising various government agencies to provide a special pathway for children from Welfare Department institutions to further their education or training.
Ismail Sabri had said this is necessary because those aged 18 and above would no longer come under the responsibility of the department, which led to them dropping out of learning institutions.
“In Sarawak, we have actually started way back in 2017 under KRA (Key Result Area), where we received an allocation of RM500,000 from the state government to enable them to continue studies in skilled institutions.
“With RM500,000 we refocus on our children in our institutions or children whose father or mother is a monthly aid recipient. We believe in education and skills training. Through education, you can change a person’s life,” she told reporters after touring the newly-completed Rumah Seri Kenangan (RSK) Sibu at KM22, Jalan Ulu Oya yesterday.
Fatimah said the ministry believes helping these children through education, especially skills training, would make a difference in their lives.
“The courses that we choose are highly demanded in the market. After completing the course, they are able to work and earn salaries,” she added.
Meanwhile, the newly-completed phase one of RSK Sibu cost RM15.8 million.
Phase two of the project, which will cost RM36 million, will involve more facilities.
“There are more facilities to be provided such as surau, chapel, morgue, recreational, consultation rooms, and staff quarters among others.
“We work closely with the Health Department where doctors come in regularly to examine the health of our senior folk,” said Fatimah.
She stressed the ministry would ensure phase 2 is carried out promptly and does not become a ‘sick’ project.