Address rural schools’ infrastructure, internet issues

Lukanisman Awang Sauni

KUCHING: The federal government was told to address issues of poor school infrastructure and limited internet coverage in rural areas of Sarawak.

Sibuti MP Lukanisman Awang Sauni said he is worried that the academic gap between urban and rural students will widen and create a ‘lost learning’ generation.

“I would like to ask what is the status of the RM1 billion payment from the Sarawak government through a loan-contra deal for the development of dilapidated schools as the federal government is responsible for matters of Education?

“I would also like to appeal to the Ministry of Communications to find the best solution on internet access in rural areas and get the best approach for the acquisition of gadgets.

“This is such as laptops at a cheaper and affordable rate which would have the performance needed to last for three to five years,” he said in Dewan Rakyat recently.

Meanwhile, Lukanisman also suggested to the government to create a laptop loan system in schools and collaborate with large tech companies such as Google, Apple or Microsoft in providing devices starting with rural schools.

On rural development in Sarawak, he said the state should be given attention, especially in getting equivalent development.

“I admit that rural development in Sarawak has yet to reach its maximum level. There are many difficulties in financial terms and planning that do not meet the needs of the population.

“We admit that Sarawak has received development, but it is not enough. There is electricity but there are still those who have not been connected to the grid, and clean water supply is still insufficient.

“There are Malaysian families who still depend on the use of water tanks while waiting for water plant and water pipe projects,” he said.

He urged that the rural infrastructure development is expedited and that a mechanism is introduced to resolve the issues and provide a more inclusive development in the rural areas.