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Sunday February 17, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Wednesday April 17, 2013 MYT 12:02:01 PM
by stephanie lee
KUDAT: Schoolchildren from several villages in Kota Marudu have to walk a long distance to SK Matunggong here due to lack of transportation facilities.
The children, who live in 16 villages in the district, have to walk as far as 8km to school daily. Some of them even bring their pet dogs as companions for the long journey.
However, the children can now stay at a school hostel that will be built through a donation of RM300,000 provided by SP Setia Foundation.
Foundation chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said the desa hostel (village hostel) could accommodate about 100 pupils and would have a canteen.
“The hostel is expected to be completed within six months. We hope the dropout rate at the school will be reduced once the school has its own hostel,” he said at the ground-breaking ceremony for the hostel construction at the school yesterday.
Kota Marudu MP Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili, who attended the ceremony, said about half of the school's 440 pupils failed to turn up for classes during bad weather.
“They don't have their own vehicles to go to school and there is no public transportation available.
“We hope the hostel will resolve the problem and indirectly help improve the schoolchildren's grades,” he added.
Parents at the function expressed their happiness over the construction of the hostel.
Norzainah Mangumbirak of Kampung Bodu said the parents would not have to worry so much about their children since they could stay in the hostel.
“The children have to go to school as early as 5.30am. They have to bring their dogs with them because of the danger of snakes or wild boar in the area,” she added.
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Nation, News, Education, SP Setia, Lee Lam Thye, hostel, Kudat
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