Published on: Friday, March 15, 2013
Lahad Datu: Schoolchildren who were forced to put up at the Embara Budi evacuation centre following conflicts at Felda Sahabat returned to class Thursday, after a long break.
It may not be a formal education, but the 54 pupils of SK Tanjung Labian are grateful for the opportunity to pursue their studies.
Classes resumed since the shooting incident on March 1 that claimed the lives of three security forces in Kampung Tanduo and Kampung Tanjung Batu.
With their original school still closed and cordoned off by security forces, the pupils attended classes in a camp at their evacuation centre in Embara Budi.
Their 'classroom' was only equipped with plastic chairs, white boards, activities books, and stationery.
Only six teachers were seen conducting classes together with the schoolchildren who were not wearing uniforms.
The class started at 8am and attended by the children with excited faces, but some were scared and were accompanied by their parents.
Year Two pupil Aliff Mohammad Fazly (pic), said he just played football at the evacuation centre while waiting for school to reopen.
"I love football and during my stay here I could play it everyday.
However, I still miss school and teachers," he said. According to Aliff, he may not be able to study well as his equipment was left behind while vacating their house.
Meanwhile, Akmal Bin Jul, 7, said he was happy as he was able to go to school again after the incident.
Akmal said he like to read and draw things. When moved to the evacuation centre, he could not do the things he liked the most.
According to Akmal, his friend known as Ain told him that she had seen the terrorists and was fearful of going to school.
"I told my mother and she said that we don't have to worry as the police will protect us.
"One day, I want to be a policeman so that I can protect my family as well as other people like the police in our village," he added. Aliff and Akmal were among 251 pupils of SK Tanjung Labian who received their education at three evacuation centres in Cenderawasih, Embara Budi, and Fajar Harapan.