Free Malaysia Today 7 August 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: The recent report about the dilapidated state of primary school Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Bengoh in Ulu Bengoh, Sarawak, is another indicator of the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) inefficiency in delivering on the promises made in the Malaysian Education Blueprint, says Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) senior researcher Tamanna Patel.
News portal The Borneo Post had on Monday published an article detailing the worn-out state of SK Bengoh, which it reported to be burdened with “a leaking roof, severely damaged ceiling, worn-out furniture, poor drainage system and cracked walls”, among others.

Tamanna, who is senior researcher for Ideas’ education unit, pointed out in a statement today that one of the aims of the education blueprint was to ensure basic infrastructure requirements were met by this year, beginning with Sabah and Sarawak.
“However, SK Bengoh is an example of the MOE’s failure to deliver, and makes you wonder how many other schools are suffering the same fate,” she said.
“The school is also facing difficulties in preparing food for students. What happens to students who rely on these meals and are already hard-pressed to come to school every day?”
PKR Mambong branch chairman, Willie Mongin has apparently appealed to the government to start repair work immediately, but nothing has come of it so far.
“Education officers did drop by the school to conduct a repair costs assessment, but nothing came out of it,” he claimed.
Tamanna also said that according to the article, only five of the Sarawak State Government’s applications have been approved, despite 230 applications having been made for infrastructure upgrades.
“This points to the need for greater decision-making powers for school leaders. The MOE should allow them to make budgetary decisions in order to fix such problems immediately.”

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