BETONG: The restoration of old and dilapidated schools in Sarawak and Sabah will be among the main agenda of the Barisan Nasional Government, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister said that for Sarawak, 183 schools in the state would be restored over the next six to seven years using the prefabricated Industrialised Building System (IBS).
He said this method meant that one school block containing six classrooms and a science laboratory could be built in seven to eight weeks and faster than building a totally new school to replace old and dilapidated ones.
Under the first phase of the project, schools in Sarawak earmarked for restoration include SK Semarong, SK Sungai Pinang, SK Kalok, SK Pulau Seduku, SK Sungai Ladong, SMK Sebuyau and SK Tambak.
“These are the first schools and I want to restore in Sarawak and Sabah as part of the main agenda of the Government.
“If we can complete maybe 20 to 30 a year, in six or seven years we can complete the restoration of 183 dilapidated schools in Sarawak,” said Najib when opening SK Pusa in the Beting Maro state seat, located 308km east of Kuching.
Construction of the school, to replace the old SK Pusa, started in June 2008 and was completed in 2010. The school, which has 18 classrooms, cost RM21mil and has 433 students.
“If we cannot build RM21mil schools, we can at least build using a fast execution method new blocks with six classrooms each and a science lab using the IBS method.”
Also present was Razaili Gapor, the Barisan Nasional candidate for Beting Maro.
Najib said that he was well aware of the problems which many schools in the state, especially in the interior, were facing.
“In the many places I have been to in Sarawak, the schools are in poor condition.
“Some of the election candidates have told me that the school block which they used to go to was still being used today with very little repairs. Those buildings are already tilting.”
Najib, who is Barisan chairman, said the coalition’s candidate for Beting Maro’s neighbouring Kabong seat, Mohd Chee Kadir, had told him about his illiterate parents.
“Chee managed to get education and become a lawyer, which means that through education his parents managed to improve not just their son’s life but theirs as well.”
At the function, Najib also announced two projects to improve the water supply to the area worth RM54.3mil.
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