THIRTY-SIX Taska Kemas (pre-schools managed by the Community Development Department) in Sarawak will be upgraded to Taska Permata Negara Kemas under the 10th Malaysia Plan.
Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office Datin Fatimah Abdullah said the upgrading would include a provision for information and communication technology facilities, sand boxes and wading pools.
“Last year, 22 Kemas pre-schools were upgraded and another 23 were upgraded this year at a cost of about RM300,000 each. The Federal Government funded the move,” she told a press conference in Kuching yesterday.
In another development, Fatimah urged all private pre-school operators in the state to register with the Welfare Department as required under the Child Protection Act, 2007.
“I know it was a long and tedious process because it involved a lot of parties. In one case, it took nine years.
“We’ve ironed out the issues affecting the operators and shortened the procedures. The longest it will take now is one year,” she said.
Meanwhile, Fatimah said the state would set up its first childcare centre before end of the year to meet the needs of working mothers in the civil service.
The centre would be sited in Lapau (next to the old State Legislative Assembly Complex) or at the tennis court behind Wisma Bapa Malaysia, she added.
“A recent survey showed that working parents at Wisma Bapa Malaysia, Menara Pelita, Bangunan Baitul Makmur Medan Raya and Wisma Sumber Alam in Petra Jaya have 63 children aged between one and four years. They are keen to place the children in the proposed centre,” she said.
Fatimah said her ministry would draw up a proposal next month and submit it for approval by the State Cabinet.