KUCHING: The repair of dilapidated schools in Sarawak can only start after the Finance Ministry issues a directive to the Education Ministry to do so, says Datuk Seri Michael Manyin.
The state Education, Technological Research and Science Minister said tenders for repairing the first batch of five schools was supposed to start this month but had not been called yet as there was no directive from the Finance Ministry.
"We had a meeting last week and the (Education) Minister said he was waiting for a directive from the Finance Ministry.
"So once there is a directive, we can start and the minister himself will come and launch it, " Manyin told reporters after opening the 28th Melta (Malaysian English Language Teaching Association) international conference here on Tuesday (Aug 13).
It was reported earlier that repair work could start on five schools this month after the state government agreed to pay RM350mil of its debt to the Federal Government.
The RM350mil would then be extended to the state for the repair of dilapidated schools.
On another matter, Manyin said Sarawak was ready to teach Mathematics and Science in English for Year One pupils starting from next year.
He said the modules for both subjects to be taught in English had already been developed by the Education Ministry, adding that the training of teachers would begin next month.
"The materials will be printed (in Peninsular Malaysia) but we will bear the cost. That is already finalised.
"We are going to train the teachers effective next month. So we are confident it can be implemented next year, " he said.
Manyin had announced in May that Sarawak would start teaching Mathematics and Science in English next year.
This came after Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik conveyed Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's request for the state to take the lead in the matter during a courtesy call with Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on April 24.
The move will involve 1, 046 primary schools statewide, except for Chinese vernacular schools, which will continue teaching Mathematics and Science in Mandarin.