Three cheques for school repairs

Posted on : 12 May 2019  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abang Johari greets a teacher upon his arrival at Sri Aman Civic Centre.

SRI AMAN: The Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government has RM1 billion ready to carry out repair works on dilapidated schools, said Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

Abang Johari revealed that three cheques valued at RM300 million, RM300 million, and RM400 million are ready for the repair projects over a period of two years.

“The cheques are ready. It’s now just the formula between the Sarawak government and federal government with regards to implementation,” he said at the 48th Sarawak-level Teachers’ Day celebration yesterday.

Abang Johari said he had visited a couple of the schools which were not conducive to learning and where the teachers’ quarters were also in bad shape.

“Some teachers’ quarters even had holes in the walls. I pity teachers who have to teach and live in this sort of poor environment.

“It is thus my hope to help repair dilapidated schools and improve the teachers’ quarters across Sarawak. I have this RM1 billion set aside for it, the rest I leave it to the Department of Education Sarawak.

“I am responsible for looking for funds and the department is tasked with identifying which schools are in a dire need of
repair and maintenance,” he explained.

Abang Johari also pointed out that Sarawak will be the first in Malaysia to implement the federal government’s policy of using English as the medium of instruction for Science and Mathematics in schools.

He said school teachers must undergo training to enhance their proficiency in the English language so they can converse in English with their charges.

“You have to use language that is understood by your students. Also, textbooks of Science and Mathematics must be in English.

“These two require quite a big budget. It has to be a joint obligation between Sarawak and federal governments. But the Ministry of Education Malaysia says they may have problems,” he said.

As such, Abang Johari said the Sarawak government “is willing to provide the package of training” for teachers.

He told Sarawak Education Department director Dr Azhar Ahmad not to worry about the funds for teacher-training and textbooks.

“We will fight for you for the funds,” he said.

“We don’t have the money, but we can find the money.”