'RM1 billion not enough for Sarawak schools'

SK Long Sukang is one of the more than 1,000 schools classified as dilapidated in Sarawak. – Impian Sarawak pic, October 28, 2017.

SARAWAK needs more than RM1 billion to replace critically dilapidated schools in the state, the Borneo Post Online reported a minister as saying today.

State Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Michael Manyin said RM4 billion was needed to repair 1,020 dilapidated schools in Sarawak, including 415 critically dilapidated ones.

“I have already discussed the matter with the state Public Works Department, which said that to build a new school using a new scope, we must have laboratories and boarding facilities. That would mean more than RM20 million per school.

“RM1 billion is not much. We need more than that. According to our calculations, we will probably need RM3 billion to RM4 billion based on the 415 critically dilapidated schools  across Sarawak,” he said after officiating the National Dual Training System convocation at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching yesterday.

He said the state would continue to fight for more than the amount allocated by the federal government because RM1 billion was only enough to replace up to 50 dilapidated schools.

Manyin said the allocation was nothing new because the state had been informed of the approved allocation during the final meeting with the Economic Planning Unit on October 9.

“In fact, we have been planning how to spend that money for the past one month or so. So, there is nothing new for us,” he said.

He added the state would assess the possibility of building schools in rural areas using a prefabricated Industrialised Building System (IBS).

“Yes, using IBS is very fast but for rural schools, it could cost more because of transportation.

“The next thing we have to think of is maintenance. And IBS maintenance can be very expensive later on,” Manyin said.

Prime Minister Najib Razak announced on Friday in Budget 2018 that RM4.5 billion would be spent on development projects in Sabah and Sarawak.  

Among the allocation, RM1 billion would be allocated to Sarawak to repair dilapidated schools in the state. – October 29, 2017.

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