Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong

KUCHING: The Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Research and the state Education Department has identified 55 dilapidated schools in the state for the last phase of repair works.

Last year, Sarawak has offered a RM1 billion contra loan to the federal government as allocation to repair or upgrade dilapidated schools in the state.

Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong said the first tranche of RM350 million was given in Aug last year, while the second tranche of RM350 million was disbursed in Feb this year.

“We have not disbursed the third tranche but the Education Department together with my ministry has identified 55 schools either to be upgraded or repaired and some even to be relocated.

“That will cost about RM300 million,” he told a press conference held at Baitulmakmur building here on Monday (Sept 28).

Manyin further said that the state government is ready to disburse the remaining contra loan payment worth RM300 million anytime now.

“We have met the Sarawak Public Works Department (JKR) engineers who are doing all the planning. So once JKR is ready, we can release the RM300 million,” he added.

He further expressed his delight with the progress of the repair of dilapidated schools in the state.

“I am quite happy with the progress because under the present Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal government, [the project] is directly monitored by JKR Sarawak.

“We (state government) can work together with them and call them anytime. Thus, I should thank JKR Sarawak, Ministry of Works and MOE. They’ve been working closely with us,” he pointed out.

For the record, Sarawak has about 1,020 dilapidated schools.

The first tranche of the RM350 million loan was utilised to rebuild 41 schools under Phase I while the second tranche of RM350 million loan was used for 52 schools under Phase II.