SANDAKAN, June 13 – The Ministry of Education (MOE) is doing all it can to solve the problem of sekolah tumpang (e.g. a secondary school inhabiting the same space as a primary school) involving 23 schools in Sabah, said Senior Education Minister, Datuk Dr Mohd Radzi Md Jidin.
He said that 20 schools have received a RM706 million allocation to erect a building, while efforts to find funds for three more schools are continuing.
“Sabah has more sekolah tumpang than any other place. It is an infrastructure challenge for the MOE.
“The ministry will focus on schools that are not finished on schedule. The most important thing is that our children get a first-rate learning facility,” he told reporters after officialising the new Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Libaran building today.
Mohd Radzi said the school, which has 597 pupils and was one of the 23 sekolah tumpang, had co-existed with Sekolah Kebangsaan Sungai Padas, a primary school 3km away, for over 22 years.
Located 25km from Sandakan, SMK Libaran will start welcoming students from Forms 1 – 5 to its new home on July 1.
On a different topic, Mohd Radzi said his ministry is in talks with several parties about how instil a love for nature in students.
He said it was because he doesn’t want a repeat of what happened to the Sumatran rhino which has gone extinct and that “our children must understand that we need to take care of our natural treasures for future generations”.
During his visit to Sandakan, Mohd Radzi toured the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre (SOURC), Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) and Rainforest Discovery Centre (RDC) for better knowledge of their work.