Ministry focused on getting schools in flood-hit states ready to open

Show must go on: Students and parents of SJKC Chung Cheng in Kota Baru, Kelantan, braving the rain at the start of the school term. — AZHAR MAHFOF / The Star

PUTRAJAYA: The Education Ministry is focused on making sure that as many schools as possible in flood-hit states will be ready to operate by Monday.

Since 130 out of 165 schools – about 79% – in Kelantan are now ready to be opened, Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the ministry was confident that most schools in the state, as well as those in Terengganu and Pahang, would be able to operate as scheduled.

“Our volunteers and coordinators are working around the clock to make sure that most schools are cleaned up and ready to operate,” he said.

“Also, students in these states can attend school with whatever they have. Even if you have no uniforms and all you have is kain, you can still come to school.

“It is not a problem,” he told reporters during the launch of the Education Ministry’s Flood Relief Fund here yesterday.

“We still have two more days and I believe that the remaining schools will be able to open by Sunday and Monday as scheduled.

“I will visit a few of the schools in Kelantan, including SMK Kampung Laut, to confirm that they are in good condition to operate,” Idris added.

Representatives from local higher education institutions, including Universiti Malaya, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Terengganu and Universiti Malaysia Perlis, presented mock cheques to Idris and Yayasan Sukarelawan Siswa (YSS) chairman Datuk Zuraidah Atan at the launch.

Other institutions that contributed to the fund were Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, Universiti Malaysia Pahang, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan, Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia, MAHSA University, Sunway University, INTI International University, SEGi University, Asia Pacific University of Technology and Innovation, Open University Malaysia, Taylor’s University, Kolej Teknologi YPC-ITWEB and the University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus.

At the event, Idris said that he was “touched by the spirit of volunteerism” displayed by the 23 local public and private higher education institutions, which donated over RM1.5mil in the span of two days.

“Right from the day the floods hit, these institutions have stood in solidarity with the flood victims and given generously,” he said.

The Flood Relief Fund, a continuation of the ministry’s flood relief operations, seeks to collect money to channel to YSS, which was set up a year ago to encourage volunteerism among higher education students.

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