MIRI: The RM7mil-plus allocation given by the Federal Government to Sarawak Chinese schools this year is not enough to cover the needs of the 222 Chinese primary and secondary schools in the state.
Sarawak United Peoples Party (SUPP) president Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said his party found that many Chinese schools in the state required more money to facilitate infrastructure repairs on run-down school blocks.
“There are schools that require as much as RM2mil for urgent repairs.
“There are 222 Chinese schools in Sarawak and from the RM7mil-plus given by Putrajaya, each school can only be allocated a small amount.
“I have raised the matter with the Education Ministry and will talk to the Prime Minister about this so that we can get more funding for all the Chinese schools in Sarawak soon,” he said.
At the cheque presentation ceremony involving several Chinese schools in northern Sarawak on Saturday, Dr Sim said Chinese schools in Sarawak deserved more funding from the Federal Treasury.
The Chinese schools in Sarawak cater to not just Chinese students but also those from Malay, Dayak and Orang Ulu communities, he added.
He said Chinese schools in Sarawak were grateful to the Federal Government for allocating grants for school development this year but they needed more money to be dispensed quickly.
He added that these schools needed the money before the beginning of the new school year.
“The feedback I have received from these schools is that funds must be dispensed to the schools quickly after the Federal Budget announcement.
“The schools need it quickly because planning must be done in advance, in terms of building new facilities, upgrading the present facilities and infrastructure of existing blocks.
“Right now, the money comes in late, sometimes a year later,” he said.
The Chinese schools had an increasing number of pupils as they cater to all races not just one race, he added.
“The Federal Government should give fixed annual financial allocations as soon as needed.
“By giving fixed allocations every year, the management of these schools will be able to do proper planning for the whole year.
“They must allocate enough to meet both current and anticipated needs,” he said.
Dr Sim is also Sarawak Housing and Local Government Minister.
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