KUCHING: Issues pertaining to education matters in Sarawak including dilapidated schools brought up by state leaders are not meant to politicise education.
The conditions of the schools, especially those in the rural areas were really deplorable, said Education, Science, and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin.
“There really is nothing to sensationalise. Even Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik himself has acknowledged the severity of the problem,” he pointed out in a press statement in response to allegation by Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.
‘I agree that education should not be politicised and the Education, Science and Technological Research Ministry Sarawak welcomes the support from all parties to improve the education eco-system in Sarawak.’
Maszlee had visited at least two of the schools during his visit to Bintulu recently, and likened the condition of the schools to that where he studied in his home village in Johor many decades ago.
In view of this, Manyin appealed to elected representatives of Pakatan Harapan to recognise the real situations and support the efforts of both the state’s Ministry of Education, Science & Technological Research (MESTR) to provide a more conducive learning and teaching environment for students.
“I agree that education should not be politicised and the Education, Science and Technological Research Ministry Sarawak welcomes the support from all parties to improve the education eco-system in Sarawak,” he added.
In this context, he also urged all MPs from Sarawak to continue their efforts in expediting matters that needed urgent attention from the Federal Ministry of Education (MOE).
Recently, Dr Yii accused Manyin of lying on the issue of getting consent from the federal education ministry for the state to connect 24-hour power and water supply to schools in Sarawak.
The project involves 113 schools for power supply and 33 schools for treated water supply.
Manyin said fund for the project, estimated to cost RM59mil, was not forthcoming, hence the state decided to use its own fund to implement it.
In fact, MESTR had just received a letter from Maszlee, dated Nov 29, in which Maszlee explained that the state’s proposal could only be implemented after issues related to existing contracts had been resolved, he added.
Manyin said the state’s implementing agencies would meet up with MOE officers to work out the details for the implementation of the project.