Federal allocation is for government, mission and Chinese-aided schools throughout Sarawak
KUCHING: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday announced an allocation of RM73.68 million for various types of primary schools in Sarawak.
Topping the list are 1,266 government primary schools which would receive a total of RM28 million, followed by 130 missions schools (RM25.68 million) and 167 Chinese-aided schools (RM20 million).
Muhyiddin, who is also the Minister of Education, announced that RM50,000 would be disbursed to each of the schools immediately.
“The rest of the allocation will be disbursed very soon,” Muhyiddin told a packed press conference at PBB headquarters here yesterday.
Among those present at the press conference were Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, BN secretary-general Tengku Adnan Mansor, deputy chief ministers Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan and Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang, PRS president Dato Sri Dr James Masing and SPDP president Dato Sri William Mawan Ikom.
Taib said described the federal allocation as timely because most of the schools are in dire need for repair.
“Our Deputy Prime Minister understood the overall picture of the conditions of the schools in Sarawak, where most of these schools are old and dilapidated.
“These schools were built by the local councils and most of them were made of simple structure and with attap roofing,” he said.
Taib revealed that Muhyiddin had a long term plan to upgrade all these schools in the near future.
“I am thankful to the Deputy Prime Minister because it was not easy for the education officers and teachers to tell the government the actual conditions of their schools.”
Meanwhile, president of the Sarawak Teachers’ Union (STU) William Ghani Bina, when contacted, said about 600 primary schools in the rural areas were in need of urgent repair.
“That’s the way allocation for schools should have been distributed. After all, teachers in all these different schools are government servants and the students are all Malaysians. They all deserve better facilities,” stressed Ghani.
Ghani said he also welcomed the government’s move to continue to assist Chinese-aided schools because Mandarin had grown in stature globally due to China’s rapid rise as an economic powerhouse.
“In many cases, the majority of pupils in Chinese-aided schools in the rural areas are Bumiputeras,” Ghani pointed out.