KUCHING: A new school will be built to replace the old SK Kampung Buda in Spaoh, Betong which suffered 80 per cent devastation from a landslip incident in the wee hours of Wednesday.
Among the structures that collapsed and were severely damaged were the classroom block for Primary 4 to 6, pre-school block, a nine-unit teacher’s quarters, surau, toilets, guard house, science room, textbooks room, resource room, j-QAF room and the jetty.
Welfare, Women and Community Wellbeing Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah revealed yesterday that Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem had agreed to top up RM1 million to the allocation to be sourced from the Education Ministry under the Disaster Relief Assistance.
“The school will be relocated to a new site measuring from three to five acres and located about 2.5 km from the current site,” she said.
Fatimah and Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas met with reporters at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) building after the morning sitting yesterday.
Also present were state education director Rakayah Madon and Saribas assemblyman Muhd Razi Sitam.
Elaborating further, she said the new school, to be built using the Integrated Building System (IBS) that can be completed within six weeks, was estimated to cost more than RM3 million.
“The cost of construction will be cheaper using IBS except more cost will be incurred for logistics as the area is inaccessible by road and materials and other necessities can only be transported using the riverine way,” she pointed out.
Uggah intercepted to explain that Kampung Buda is the last village in the area not connected by road but construction of a bridge is ongoing, which once completed will link the village to the outside world.
Despite the challenges, Fatimah said construction will begin immediately after the piece of land, which has already been approved by the government, has been formally acquired and the fund obtained.
Meanwhile, Fatimah said some of the affected students and teachers of SK Kampung Buda will be temporarily placed at SK Spaoh located 18 km away as an interim measure to ensure students continue to attend classes as school session begins next week.
There are 73 students and 13 teachers in SK Kampung Buda.
“It will operate in two sessions with the morning for SK Spoah and the afternoon for SK Kampung Buda,” she said.
“Students and teachers can also stay at SK Spaoh’s hostel facility except for pre-schoolers who are not encouraged to be away from their parents at such a young age,” she added.
The pre-schoolers, Fatimah said, will utilise the computer block in SK Kampung Buda which is still safe to be used while pre-school teachers can temporarily stay with relatives in nearby villages.
Uggah and Razi were expected to head to the site to assess the situation late noon yesterday.