PETRA JAYA - Sarawak has identified 110 critically-dilapidated schools to be rebuilt with the allocation from the Federal 2018 Budget to Sarawak amounting RM1 billion.
State Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Seri Michael Manyin Jawong said although 415 schools needed repairs, the 110 would be given priority.
He said the remaining schools were expected to be rebuilt with the allocation under the 11th Malaysia Plan.
To a question from See Chee How (PKR-Batu Lintang) at the state assembly sitting here recently, Manyin said the ministry was also in the process of merging under-enrolled schools.
“We will consolidate schools with fewer than 150 pupils in rural areas. We hope to gather students (from small schools) and move them to a bigger school with better facilities. This provides a more conducive and competitive environment,” he added.
However, he said, the ministry was unable to confirm when the merger could be completed as it depended on the response of the schoolchildren’s parents.
“We can only encourage, but we can’t force them. We hope elected representatives can assist the gov ernment to convince the (schoolchildren’s) parents,” he said.
Meanwhile, Datuk Tiong Thai King (Barisan Nasional-Dudong) raised a question on illegal logging in the state.
In reply, state Urban Planning, Land Administration and Environment Assistant Minister Datuk Len Talif Salleh said Sarawak continued to intensify its efforts to stop illegal logging.
In the first 10 months of the year, he said, 528 operations were conducted and resulted in the seizure of 10,783 logs, with royalties amounting RM676,345.
“Of 17 cases brought to court, 10 have been disposed of.”
Initiatives were carried out with other enforcement agencies, including inspections at main routes and rivers that were used to transport logs
On top of that, 48 one-stop compliance centres were set up to monitor the logging activities.
“We have intensified our efforts by conducting frequent air surveillance by using advanced technologies, such as unmanned aerial vehicles, hyperspectral and compact airborne tactical system,” he said.