Allocation to be used in two years


Sarawak targets to use RM1 billion for rebuilding rundown schools in 2018 and 2019

Abang Johari takes a look at the artwork made by pupils of SK Landeh. On his right is Manyin. — Photo by Tan Song Wei

KUCHING: Sarawak will utilise the RM1 billion recently announced under Budget 2018 to rebuild dilapidated schools in the next two years.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said this is his target for 2018 and 2019, after which the state government will bid for more allocations from Putrajaya.

Speaking at a news conference yesterday, he said all new schools in the state will be lab-equipped in line with the state government’s emphasis on the learning of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

“(Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dato Sri Michael) Manyin and his team will build new schools over the span of two years using the RM1 billion.

“The RM1 billion will be for the next two years, after that we ask for more,” he said after declaring open SK Landeh in Padawan near here.

Abang Johari assured that the state government would be the implementer of the school projects and only local companies would be engaged in the construction works.

According to him, not all new schools will be built using the Industrialised Building System (IBS).

“Some we use IBS, some we use conventional. What matters is that we have new schools,” he said.

Manyin, who was also present, said his ministry had identified 200 dilapidated schools that are in dire need of immediate action.

He pointed out that every rural state constituency would be getting at least one new school.

He did not get into details on how many schools in each rural constituency would be involved as the ministry was still working on the matter.

Abang Johari (fourth right) performs a gimmick to officially declare open SK Landeh in Padawan. Seen from second left are Rakayah, Sudarsono, Manyin, Chong, Sulaiman and Lo. — Photos by Tan Song Wei

“Every rural constituency will have one and once it becomes a role model and people see that it is good, others will follow,” he added.

Earlier, Abang Johari said the proposed Sarawak Multimedia Authority (SMA), once put in place, will be focusing on the implementation of high-speed Internet connection in three zones – southern, central and northern.

He expressed confidence that Sarawakians would be able to enjoy high-speed Internet within two years following the RM1 billion pledged under Budget 2018 for Sarawak and Sabah.

“The state has RM1 billion and now we have half a billion (ringgit) from the federal. We will use this RM1.5 billion to improve connectivity through fibre optic or cloud computing,” he added.

SK Landeh, which was completed last Nov 16, has 12 classrooms currently catering for 282 pupils as well as 19 teachers and four staff members.

Among those present at the official opening ceremony were Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon; Education deputy director-general (Education Policy and Development) Datuk Sulaiman Wak, permanent secretary to Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research Datu Sudarsono Osman, state Education Department director Rakayah Madon and Padawan Municipal Council chairman Lo Khere Chiang.

SK Landeh has 282 pupils and 19 teachers.

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