KUCHING: The pupils of SK Kampung Buda, which collapsed into the Saribas River in Betong, will be temporarily accommodated in another school while their school is rebuilt at a new site.
State Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said 64 pupils from Years One to Six will go to SK Spaoh when school reopens on Monday.
However, she said SK Kampung Buda’s eight preschool children will continue to attend classes in the computer room, which was found to be safe following Wednesday's incident.
“SK Spaoh will operate two sessions to accommodate SK Kampung Buda. It will be used in the morning by SK Spaoh and in the afternoon by SK Kampung Buda.
“There is a hostel there so the pupils of SK Kampung Buda can stay at SK Spaoh. This is our interim measure,” she told reporters at the state legislative assembly complex here yesterday.
Fatimah said the long-term plan was to rebuild SK Kampung Buda using the Integrated Building System (IBS), which is quick and involves lower costs.
She said Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem had approved a 2ha-site located about 2.5km from the present school for the new premises.
“The Chief Minister also agreed to allocate RM1mil on top of the allocation we will request from the Education Ministry’s disaster relief fund. We hope the school can be built as quickly as possible,” Fatimah said, adding that the new school was estimated to cost over RM3mil.
About 80% of SK Kampung Buda collapsed into the river due to erosion, in the predawn incident. The affected buildings included a classroom block, science and resource rooms, preschool, toilets, surau and teachers' quarters.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah said this should be a wake-up call to the Education Ministry to immediately resolve similar issues facing other schools in Sarawak.
“In my constituency, there is another school, SK Sebemban, which is also by the river bank where erosion has been happening. We’ve raised this matter with the ministry and we are waiting for a positive response.
“I appeal to the ministry to please take immediate action to resolve this issue before any untoward incident happens,” the Betong MP said.
Meanwhile, Fatimah also said SK Kampung Buda was among 486 schools categorised as high-risk due to various factors, such as being located on river banks or prone to floods.
“We have submitted a list of priority cases for rebuilding and we hope the ministry will give us due consideration. We know there are financial constraints but there is a solution using IBS so we are all for it,” she said.
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