I am speechless when I read that in Sabah, there are 27 secondary schools that are squatting in primary school premises. I wonder for how long has this been going on, and are the Sabah leaders too blind to see this, and are they all at a lost as to how and what corrective measures need to be taken. Or are the leaders’ far too busy politicking and affirming their political base, and knows little of the problems confronting schools and their children who are the ‘future’ of the state?
I can only describe ‘school squatting’ in Sabah as disgusting, and if the Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin felt so ashamed of the situation, then I would add that all his officers should be send down to Sabah to see how students and teachers suffer under such intolerable schooling environment. Can one imagine a secondary school student sitting in the same chair and table of a primary school student? And I do not know where the teachers are going to work. I suppose they have built tents outside the school for teachers.
Come on, we are already in the 21st Century, and to see such things happening at this age and time, and without the state leaders lifting a hand to solve the problem is inexcusable and totally irresponsible. What sort of leaders are they, and my sympathy goes to the children and teachers of the affected schools, who have all endured under this special education scheme called ‘school squatting’.
Surely, ‘school squatting’ did not crop-up overnight. It must have happened many, many months or some years back. This problem must have been known to the state education department, and I believe too that a problem of this nature must have been brought to the attention at the federal level. And if nothing had been done to address the problem, then there is something seriously wrong with the entire education department at both the state and federal level. I would also say that a portion of blame should also be borne by the Chief Minister himself. But the question now is whether the Chief Minister will assume responsibility of the situation, or will he choose someone as his scrape goat; probably the ADUN responsible to education?
I have served the state of Sabah on several occasion, and I find the people friendly (much friendlier than here), and being a military officer, I was accorded respect and am always a guest at almost every state function. I have travelled to the remotest part of the state and to the surrounding islands. It is in such places that we see a deep disparity in the standards of living of its people in these remote areas, in comparison to those of the urban areas. It was a pleasure to be among them, and for my soldiers to partake in their daily lives, including being part time teachers to some of the children. Of course, the schools then were reminisced of what I saw in some remote areas in India back in 1984.
‘School squatting’ is certainly a new term in our national education scheme, and with drastic cuts in the education budget, I wonder if ever school squatting can be resolved in the immediate future. The ball is now in the feet of Muhyiddin Yassin.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION