In disarray: The condition of the temporary site at SMK Agama Ranau.
KOTA KINABALU: More than 1,000 students at the foothills of Mount Kinabalu here will have their school holiday “extended” because their classrooms are not ready.
While waiting for their new school block in Kampung Mesilou to be completed, the SMK Kundasang students have been using the SMK Agama Ranau premises nearby.
Although the students and teachers were promised the new block by March, construction work has yet to start. At the same time, the SMK Agama Ranau is being refurbished.
School parent-teacher association (PTA) chairman Japiril Suhaimin said the students had to move to SMK Agama because their old school building was unstable.
“They had to move while waiting for a new school block to be built. During this time, students and teachers did not have power supply or proper toilets. Most of the classrooms were also dilapidated,” he said, adding that heavy rain would cause muddy floods in the area.
“The students only have one school bus provided by the Education Ministry that takes them to school,” said Japiril.
Sabah Education Department director Datuk Jame Alip said matters concerning the construction of the new school were under the Works Ministry.
“However, we will work continuously so that the classrooms will be ready at the old site (of SMK Agama Ranau) by Monday,” he said.
In Kota Kinabalu, over half of the enrolment at a newly opened Chinese school comprises bumiputra pupils.
SJK (C) Che Hwa Kolombong board Chairman,Datuk Michael Lui said about 90% of these bumiputra pupils had already received their pre-school education in Chinese.
Two classes, he said, were opened for the 57 pupils who turned up at the new school on Jan 2.
“We only managed to open two new classes because parents are still unfamiliar with and lacked confidence in the school,” he said, adding that enrolment was likely to increase in the future.
In SK Pekan Kinarut in Papar, there were more pupils whose parents were immigrants than local children.
The school, located within walking distance of the Filipino Refugee Resettlement Scheme, has been enrolling immigrant children since their influx in the 1970s, prompting many local parents to send their children elsewhere.