KOTA KINABALU: The government must take immediate steps to replace or rebuild dilapidated schools, especially those with wooden structures, says Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
The Parti Warisan president said many schools and hostels in rural areas are poorly maintained and pose a danger to students and staff.
He said it was imperative that the government ensures structures of schools and student dormitories are safe.
"The infrastructure of primary and secondary schools in some areas – especially in the Sabah interior – still have unsafe wooden structures.
"These need to be replaced with concrete buildings as soon as possible.
"In Kota Belud and Tuaran for example, some walls are still made of planks and the basic structure needs to be upgraded urgently.
"It is also necessary to look at facilities for teachers... to provide them some comfort," he said when officiating the Semporna District Education Office open day in Semporna on Monday (Sept 25).
Shafie, who is Semporna MP, said the Education Ministry needs to have a comprehensive plan to upgrade, renovate or rebuild school buildings that are in poor shape.
Previously, Deputy Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Shahelmey Yahya said more than half of the 1,292 primary and secondary schools in Sabah are poorly maintained and in bad shape, based on the state Education Department's 2022 records
He said records show there are 1,071 primary and 221 secondary schools in Sabah and at least 54.5% are in poor condition.