3 MAY 2016
I refer to the promise of Adenan Satem and the Barisan Nasional (BN) in their manifesto to recognize and develop the potential of our youths for our future and to advance education and technical training.
After decades of BN rule, our rural students are still being taught in dilapidated schools, many of them with no proper electricity or water supply. The government can’t even offer our young generation decent facilities for a basic primary education, yet BN is not embarrassed to keep making the same promise election after election.
The 2014 Auditor General’s report stated that 85.5% of Sarawak schools are in a state of disrepair with schoolchildren studying in rotting or termite infested buildings or buildings with leaking sewage. The Education Blueprint 2013-2025 stated that ‘by 2013, critical repairs and upgrades will be completed across all 1,608 schools with critical needs’. It is now 2016, and in Ba’ Kelalan, 11 out of 12 schools are still in serious disrepair. SK Ba’ Kelalan, SK Long Luping and SK Long Sukang are still depending on old generators for their power supply and SK Long Sebangang suffers from lack of water.
As for new schools, 2 pieces of land in Long Semadoh had been officially acquired in 2003 to build SK Long Semadoh and SMK Long Semadoh but up to today, there are no signs that these schools will be built.
The Education Blueprint shows that Sarawak is at the 2nd last place in a comparison of performance across states for UPSR and SPM in 2011. In Sarawak, it is not uncommon that children start primary school without first attending preschool. I have been reliably informed that at UNIMAS, less than 50% of the students are Sarawakians. Why are there not more local students getting an education there?
Clearly, without a good foundation, the youth of Sarawak will not be able to handle advanced education if it is offered. To really make a difference, the government should make sure preschools are set up all in all rural areas, build modern boarding schools with the proper facilities and set up more colleges with City and Guilds standards or equivalent for vocational and skills training.
In our manifesto, PKR has promised to reform and improve the education system including immediately channeling RM1 Billion towards the renovation and upgrading of rural schools and dormitories, if we are given the chance to govern Sarawak. We will push for autonomy in Education so that we can bring back the high standards of education that we once enjoyed. Give your votes to PKR for a real change to our Education system. Our younger generation deserve much more than the dilapidated schools they have put up with for so long.
N81 Ba’ Kelalan