(From left) Scholastica, Veronica, Fellissica and Raynold hope the proposed SMK Balingian becomes a reality soon.

MUKAH: Balingian-born students studying here are hopeful that a proposed Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Balingian will be implemented soon and become a reality.

A Form 3 student Scholastica Lenny, and her friends, Veronica (Form 2), Fellissica Wendy (Form 4) and Raynold Gabriel (Form 1), all studying at SMK Three Rivers here are excited for the new school.

All of them are boarders (staying in hostels) and come from separate longhouses in Setuan Besar, Balingian, about an hour drive from here.

“Yes, we heard about the proposed SMK Balingian, but we do not really know much about the project,” they told New Sarawak Tribune here recently.

They said it was high time that a secondary school be built in Balingian.

According to them, they might not be in time to study at the new school, but their younger siblings, relatives and friends as well as others would have the opportunity.

They pointed out that with a secondary school in Balingian, local students would not have to further their studies in Mukah anymore.

“Besides, the school would be near our home too,” they added.

Currently, students from Balingian either go to SMK Three Rivers or SMK Mukah to continue their secondary education, as those schools have hostel facilities.

Recently, it was reported that the proposed SMK Balingian project was in the tendering process, as announced by deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) and Mukah MP Datuk Hanifah HajarTaib.

The proposed residential school, costing about RM60 million, was approved by then deputy Prime Minister and  Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during the Balingian by-election in 2014.