‘Unfit and dangerous’ school still being used

BALING: The 59 pupils of SRK (T) Ladang Bukit Sembilan in Kuala Ketil here are studying in termite-infested classrooms on the brink of collapse. 

The ceiling of one of three classrooms came crashing down in January, and the resource centre, located in a separate building, has since been converted into a temporary classroom. 

Parent-Teacher Association chairman M. Gunasegaran said the termite problem first surfaced two years ago. 

“The school administration wrote to the district education office then but nothing was done. It was only after the ceiling had collapsed that the Public Works Department (JKR) came to inspect the buildings.  

“On Jan 4, the JKR certified the building as ‘unfit and dangerous for occupation’,” he said.  

The government-aided school, located in an oil palm estate, is housed in two wooden structures built by the former estate owner 80 years ago. 

Gunasegaran said the JKR had estimated that destroying the termites would cost RM8,000 and complete repair works between RM20,000 and RM25,000, but the money needed had yet to reach the school. 

“We have given the state Education Department many reminders of the impending danger but no action has been taken. The Government should immediately provide grants for the repairs. We will hold the authorities fully responsible if any untoward incident happens,” he said 

Kuala Ketil assemblyman Datuk Abdul Aziz Sheikh Fadzir said he understood that the grant had been approved by the Education Ministry but it would take some time for the allocation to reach the school. 

“I am appealing to the ministry to expedite the matter as the school is on the verge of collapse,” he added. 

National Union of the Teaching Profession president Ismail Nihat said the state Education Department should repair the termite-infested building immediately.  

“The safety of the students and teachers should be a priority. We do not want a repeat of the Alor Star incident where a teacher fell to his death when a decayed wooden floor gave way in September,” he said. 

Efforts to reach state Education director Datuk Abdul Rahman Yop over the past two weeks had been unsuccessful.  

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