KUCHING,. The Sarawak state government has to step in to fix dilapidated schools since allocations from the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government are hardly sufficient, the chief minister today.
Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said a sum of RM81.7 million is proposed to be allocated under the state’s 2019 Budget to repair, upgrade and rebuild schools, including providing water and electricity supplies.
“It is disheartening to see our children have long been suffering from much poor quality conditions and are forced to study in such interior learning environment.
“The state, therefore, has to step in to facilitate the development of schools in Sarawak using state funds and will continue to do so next year,” he said when tabling the Sarawak state Budget 2019 at the state legislative assembly today.
Abang Johari said there are 1,020 dilapidated schools in the state, including 415 which are considered critically dilapidated.
He said although education is a subject under the purview and responsibility of the federal government as enshrined in the Federal Constitution, the current state of schools particularly those in the rural schools require the state government’s immediate attention.
Abang Johari said the previous Barisan Nasional government had in its Budget 2018 approved an RM1 billion special allocation for the repair and upgrading of the dilapidated schools.
He said the new federal government ought to fulfill this obligation by providing the funding as approved.
“In fact, even this amount is hardly sufficient so we need much more that RM1 billion to repair, replace and rebuild all the critically dilapidated schools in Sarawak.
“Unfortunately, the federal Budget 2019 did not indicate any allocation for dilapidated schools in Sarawak,” he said.