Sarawak will get another 42 new schools at a cost of about RM1.3 billion under the 11th Malaysia Plan (2016-2020), said Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid.
He said the state Education Department had been tasked to identify suitable sites for the schools and ensure that they are completed on schedule.
“The next step is to appoint consultants to determine the building designs, job scope related to school construction and appointment of contractors,” he said in his speech at the official opening of Sekolah Kebangsaan Matu Baru, here, yesterday.
The school was officially declared open by Natural Resources and Environment Minister Dato Sri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, who represented Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
Mahdzir stated that the construction of new schools was part of his ministry’s effort to increase the number of education facilities in the state, and the ministry would also continue with the projects approved under the 10th Malaysia Plan.
He also announced that 114 schools in the state powered by generators could now be connected to Sarawak Energy Bhd’s grid system.
“There are schools that can already be connected to the grid system, but there are also schools that are not ready because the old wiring is not suitable and therefore, they need to ensure that the grid system can be connected to the schools.”
Besides being responsible for the construction of new schools, upgrading and maintenance of schools, Mahdzir also said the Education Ministry ensures that all schools throughout the country are equipped with facilities.
“We can provide schools buildings, teachers, curriculum and books for the teachers to teach but there is another very important component that will determine the success of a school; that is the community’s involvement which to me is very important.”
While complimenting Pantai Damai assemblyman Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi’s good effort in forming ‘Majlis Muafakat Pendidikan Pantai Damai’, he said it was an example of the involvement of parents and teachers in helping children to improve their performance in schools.
“We want to see more schools that we can develop into cluster school or high performance school. I hope one day, in Santubong, SK Matu Baru will be among the group of schools that will achieve success in various fields.”
Among those who were present were Wan Junaidi’s wife Datin Sri Feona Sim, Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Islamic Affairs) Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman, Dr Abdul Rahman and wife Siti Syorgayah Mohd Zaidin and state Education Department director Rakayah Madon