PAPAR: A total of 109 dilapidated primary schools across the state will be upgraded or rebuilt using the industrialised building system (IBS) this year.
The projects allocated under a RM2.5bil provision (RM500mil for peninsular Malaysia and RM1bil each for Sabah and Sarawak) by the federal government is expected to start in March.
Steps are being taken to expedite survey works and the appointment of contractors by the end of this month.
Deputy Works Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said the RM1bil allocation would be divided into two phases, to be carried out in 2018 and 2019 with RM500mil to be used to upgrade 74 schools identified by the Education Ministry and 35 schools by the Works Ministry.
To ensure the project runs smoothly, she said, a task force has been set up to monitor the progress.
“The Works Minister has instructed that the construction progress to be monitored by a task force.
“The task force in Sarawak will be led by the minister himself, while I have been entrusted to lead the one in Sabah to ensure the construction of the 109 schools in the state is carried out properly,” Rosnah said.
The task force will involve both state Education Department and Public Works Department as issues pertaining to the schools will be discussed in meetings between both parties, Rosnah said after officiating at the ‘Kembara Back-to-school’ programme at SK Tanaki in Papar.
According to her, work on each school is expected to complete within three to four months.
However, she said, given Sabah’s geographical condition, a number of schools might be upgraded using conventional methods.
“The upgrades comprise three main aspects – classrooms, science rooms and toilets. These are prioritised and there may also be changes based on the different needs of these dilapidated schools.
“The ministries are monitoring the selected schools to identify their needs and within the limited period of time, they are asked to present their reports because we want to appoint contractors by the end of January,” stressed Rosnah.
The programme was a follow-up from last week’s event which was held in collaboration with PLUS Malaysia Berhad where four remote schools in Papar – SK Kogopon, SK Mandalipau, SK Kaiduan and SK Tanaki were visited and some 300 students were given school supplies.
Rosnah who is also Papar MP stated that this year, five schools in the district, namely SK Mook, SK Mandalipau, SK Beringgis, SK Benoni and SK Limputong had been selected for the upgrades.