The government through the Education Ministry has allocated RM80 million to undertake maintenance of 600 schools and teachers quarters in Sarawak that are said to be at the verge of being condemned. The question that I would like to ask is why announced the allocation now? Why wait for the schools and quarters for teachers to reach such a poor condition before a maintenance allocation is handed out? It is unlikely that deterioration of the schools and teachers quarters occurred a few months ago? Definitely, it has started to deteriorate several years ago.
What has the state Department of Education or the Education Ministry been doing all this while? Wasn’t there a request for maintenance been made by the schools? I am quite certain there must have been some form of maintenance allocation, and where have the allocation disappeared in the past. Don’t tell me that there was no maintenance allocation at all.
Remember, I wrote an article on January 24, 2011 regarding Sekolah Menengah Sains Miri, Bakam, Sarawak were the students were told to relocate to another school, because their school was in such a poor condition and had to be torn down. I do not know what had happened to the school now.
Now, I want to be straight and cynical. Is it because of the up-coming state election that had awakened the Education Ministry and its minister to come up with such an allocation? And please do not tell me that it is coincidental or some ‘cock and bull’ story that the allocation has been planned many years ago, and the announcement made only recently? And don’t tell me that in the past, no state/federal ministers or state department/ministry officials has ever visited these schools or cared to visit the homes of the teachers? I have visited some schools in the interior of Sarawak and I can only say that some schools are slightly better than a chicken coop. Is this the way the state Education Department takes care of its students and teachers?
Now, what about the CM of Sarawak? Does he not know that the schools are about to collapse? Or is he too busy to even care about finding out, or does he go blindfolded during his round of visits? If what is written in Sarawak Report about the CM is true, then he is one filthy rich person. And why doesn’t he be like billionaire Vincent Tan who announced recently that half his wealth will be given out to charity. I am quite sure the CM has some extra to give out, and I think a few million as charity to schools is not too much for him to give out, if what is written about him is true. We all must thank Vincent Tan for his generosity and sets a sterling example for the CM to follow.
Honestly, I just cannot understand what is actually happening to Sarawak and the Education Ministry in particular. They say that education is so important and that the ministry gets one of the highest budget allocations. Yet they could lose sight of providing sufficient allocation for the maintenance of schools and teachers quarters, especially those in Sarawak, and may be in Sabah as well. Is this how the ministry interprets the famous slogan “Rakyat Di Dahulukan, Pencapaian Di Utamakan”. Are students in Sarawak not the rakyat of this country, to be attending schools in such dilapidated condition?
And it is only today that I knew the government has set aside an allocation of RM18.4 million to be paid to teachers and supporting staffs as incentive for their excellent performance. While I am not disputing that our teachers deserve such incentives, and in fact much more; but why give them now at a time prior to two by-elections and an impending state elections in Sarawak? I hope this is not going to be a one-off incentive, with the next incentive just prior to another by-election. If giving out such incentive is the government’s way of enticing votes, which most believe is the case; then I say that the Education Ministry’s action is insincere.
The education ministry can act like Santa Claus this time, but let’s see if they can do the same when the 13th General Election comes in about two years time.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION