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Helping to expand, rebuild schools


State government mulls giving Chinese middle school bigger site, help rebuild and repair schools

Abang Johari (third row, seventh left), Juma’ani (third row, sixth left), Sabariah (third row, fifth left), Mohamad Abu Bakar (third row, eighth left) and Azmi (third row, ninth left) in a photo-call with school uniform assistance and domestic scholarships recipients. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is looking to help Chung Hua Middle School No. 4 move to a new location by allocating them a new piece of land.

According to him, the Chinese independent school located at Jalan Haji Taha here can no longer be expanded due to area constraint.

“They no longer can expand further because the land is too small. Therefore, Petra Jaya MP Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof and I will find a way on how we can help the Chung Hua school in Jalan Haji Taha because they also feel the school’s area is too small,” he said when officiating at Yayasan Sarawak Education Assistance 2017 presentation ceremony at SK Merpati Jepang Hall here yesterday.

Abang Johari, who is Satok assemblyman, said: “Maybe we can find a new suitable land for us to develop the school and the state government will swap the new land with the existing land.

“This is still being discussed with the Chung Hua Middle School 1, 3 and 4 Board of Management. It is their decision on what they want to do.”

Apart from that, Abang Johari said the government had also improved the school infrastructure and facilities in SK Rakyat and SK Merpati Jepang here.

“As for SK Rakyat, we have built a hall which is air-conditioned while for SK Merpati Jepang, it is now complete with infrastructure and facilities and we have developed a field.

“Actually, in SK Merpati Jepang, the building in the middle has been there for a very long time even during my time (studying in the school). We are thinking maybe we can re-develop the building but we will implement it after discussing with the state Education Department.”

Besides assisting the schools in Satok area, Abang Johari said the state government will also help SMK St Teresa to rebuild its school hall building which was burnt down in a fire on Oct 29, last year.

“We will also develop a new school in Petra Jaya. I want to share this with you as an assurance (to all parents) that the government will develop the facilities and infrastructure for our children in schools.”

Earlier in his speech, Abang Johari said the state government is giving much focus on education because it is only when the people are highly educated and possess good life values that the future of the state can be guaranteed.

“That is why the government is helping parents in providing education to our children. Today, we are giving allocation throughout the state for our children who need school uniform assistance totalling RM4 million.

“In the olden days, whether we can afford school uniform or not, we had to buy them ourselves. But today, we have Yayasan Sarawak to help us. This is a blessing for us when the government is assisting our children to buy school uniforms including shoes.”

Abang Johari also advised those who had obtained study loan from Yayasan Sarawak to repay their loan when they are successful to enable the foundation to assist others who are in need.

Meanwhile, Yayasan Sarawak director Azmi Bujang said the programme was the state government’s initiative and Yayasan Sarawak was given the responsibility to implement the programme.

“This year, we introduced a new distribution method – that is using voucher with the value of RM200 for school uniforms. We have printed more than 20,000 vouchers for school uniforms and have so far distributed about 19,000 vouchers to the recipients throughout Sarawak through their state elected representatives.”

Azmi said parents could purchase their child’s school uniforms using the voucher in places that accept the voucher.

“With RM200, you can get three pairs of school uniform for a primary school pupil and two pairs of school uniform for a secondary school student. If the shop does not provide what it is supposed to have, don’t go to the shop. Go to the other shop instead.

“It is up to parents to choose the school uniforms in terms of quality, size and colour. I would also like to remind parents not to exchange this voucher (with other attires) besides school uniforms. We can still accept if they exchange it with co-curricular attires.”

Considering that the voucher is valid until Nov 30, he advised parents to exchange it with school uniforms before the expiry date.

“Besides school uniform assistance, we are also presenting local scholarships of RM300 for students between Form 1 and Form 3 and RM500 for students in Form 4 and Form 5. Although it is not a big amount it is meaningful to the needy, especially those in rural areas.”

A total of 139 students received the school uniform assistance and 35 others received the local scholarships presented by Yayasan Sarawak yesterday.

Among those present at the event were Abang Johari’s wife Datin Patinggi Dato Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang, State Planning Unit director Datu Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki and Deputy State Secretary Datu Dr Sabariah Putit.