THE more than 40,000 residents of U10, Shah Alam are puzzled over the long delay in the construction of a public school.
It has been seven years since the idea for a school in the booming residential area was mooted by the residents and approved, but to-date the project has not been completed.
Alam Budiman Residents Association (ABRA) deputy president Badrul Hisham said talk of the primary school began in 2007.
The location for the school was changed several times over the years and finally settled on a 2.4ha land in Sunway Alam Suria.
Initially, residents were sceptical over the location and suggested Sunway Kayangan, but the idea was turned down.
“The residents’ coalition comprising ABRA, Sunway Alam Suria and Sunway Kayangan residents associations and others handed over a memorandum detailing the difficulties they faced to Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during his visit to SK Bukit Jelutong several years ago,” he added.
Immediately after that chance meeting, construction of the school began in 2012 and was scheduled for completion this month.
The school is supposed to have 12 classrooms in three three-storey academic blocks, a canteen and a kindergarten.
However, construction has been progressing slowly and residents are running out of patience waiting for its completion.
A check by StarMetro found that the school is only about half complete and the contractors have said it is scheduled for completion in June.
Residents, however, are worried that it will be delayed once again.
“We do not really care what hurdles the contractors have faced; we need the school to be ready this year.
“This is so that we can enrol our children at the new school for next year’s admission,” said Badrul.
He said the school would benefit children and parents in U10, U9 and Kampung Budiman.
At present, the students and parents have to travel more than 10km to the nearest schools located in Bukit Jelutong, Kampung Melayu Subang and TTDI Jaya.
Travelling to and from those areas is a tiring affair and the children are exhausted every day.
Sunway Alam Suria committee member Mohd Nizam Ismail said families were forced to leave their homes as early as 6.15am to battle early rush hour traffic.
“Since there is only one main access, most residents are forced to use Jalan Batu Arang.
“If we leave after 6.30am there is no point sending our children to school. They might as well stay at home for the day,” said Mohd Nizam.
His fellow committee member Fazli Robin Noor said even getting home after work and school had become a torturous affair.
Fazli said families would usually reach home past 7.30pm after picking up their children when school ended at 6.30pm.
“It is even worse for those taking the school vans and buses; these children get home after 8pm,” he added.
Shah Alam City Council (MBSA) councillor Prakash Rao said he expected an increase in the number of residents in years to come, judging from the number of developments that have been approved in U10.
He said the council approved seven new housing projects and some were high-density developments.
“The situation is bound to get worse. A school within our area will help ease the congestion.
“Parents will not be rushing to send their children to school at 6am, and this will leave enough time for those travelling to work,” said Prakash during a meeting with the affected residents at his office.
When asked if 12 classrooms were enough to accommodate the growing number of students, Badrul said they were just thankful for the school.
He said the task of ensuring the facilities could accommodate existing and future residents was up to the Education Ministry.
“Currently, classes in the nearby schools, including Bukit Jelutong and TTDI Jaya, are crowded with over 45 students per class.
“It is not healthy for the children. So, we are happy with anything we can get,” said Badrul.
However, Nizam, Fazli and Badrul hope the Education Ministry will consider building a secondary school to cater to a growing number of students in the near future.