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Schools waste no time in resuming classes

Published on: Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Deputy Education Minister I, Datuk Mary Yap Kain Ching said the State Education Department will need to apply for the emergency fund based on the needs of SK Pekan Kiulu and SK Gadong in Beaufort, which were razed on Monday.

In the interim, permission has been given to State Education Director Datuk Jame Alip to immediately get the central contractor to supply chairs and tables to the affected schools to ensure the pupils do not lose out on lessons.

"This has already been done by the department, where there is room to set up temporary classrooms and I applaud Jame and his officers for their prompt action. We want to do the best for the children.

"I am also impressed with the swift response of local leaders who went down to the ground to gauge the situation and offer the necessary assistance," she said. This, Yap added, showed clear-cut collaboration between the State Education Department and elected representatives.

While the Department is responsible for providing the canopy and furniture for SK Pekan Kiulu to be held in the vicinity as a temporary measure, Kiulu Assemblyman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai also chipped in to help.

"I will use my Adun (Assemblyman) Fund for the purchase of plywood pieces to partition the makeshift classrooms.

Once all the materials from the supplier are ready, we will hold a gotong royong to complete the job.

"Hopefully, lessons can resume by Monday under the tent," he said when contacted, Tuesday. SK Pekan Kiulu, with an enrolment of 187 pupils and nine preschoolers. It lost one block that housed six classes, an administration office and resource centre affecting about 187 pupils in the afternoon fire.

"They will undergo lessons under temporary tents placed near the flats parking area," said Jame.

As for SK Gadong, Jame said no lessons were cancelled in 11 classrooms.

"The fire only destroyed the school's administration, resource centre and the sports storerooms," he said.

Other items reported damaged were text books, 10 computers and learning equipment.

Jame said the department was now waiting for the Education Officer and headmasters' reports on the damages and proposal for new blocks to be forwarded to the Ministry.