Repairing shabby schools

ARAU: A total of 694 projects to repair dilapidated schools nationwide have been completed, while another 216 projects are in the pre-construction stage as of March, says Education Minister Fadhlina Sidek.

She said her ministry was working closely with various relevant agencies, particularly the Public Works Department, to ensure all projects were completed according to the set timeline.

“We continue to improve the process from time to time. When this government took over the administration, our main focus was to address the issue of dilapidated schools, which had not been properly resolved before.

“The solutions have been implemented well. We are working very quickly with the cooperation of other agencies,” she told reporters here yesterday.

She was asked to comment on the Johor state assembly Speaker Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi’s statement urging the ministry to eliminate bureaucracy and review the existing delivery system, particularly concerning the allocation for upgrading dilapidated schools.

According to Fadhlina, there is no issue with the process of upgrading dilapidated schools, as all projects are closely monitored so that they can be completed according to schedule.

On sexual harassment in schools, she said her ministry had established a guideline to tackle the matter, not only at the school level but also at state education departments and district education offices.

At the same time, the ministry had taken measures to strengthen the role of counselling teachers to provide psychosocial support to students and ensure a safe school environment, she added.

“We also ensure that students have a trustworthy platform to share these issues, and most importantly, we look at what actions schools take when they become aware of or are informed about such incidents,” she said, Bernama reported.

Recently, Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department director Datuk Seri Mohd Shuhaily Mohd Zain was reported as saying that mental health problems among children are concerning, especially following the increase in sexual crime cases involving underage children.

Earlier yesterday, Fadhlina attended the renaming ceremony of SMK Syed Hussein (formerly SMK Arau) here, graced by the Regent of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail.

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