While the son of the Sarawak Chief Minister is said (by his estranged wife) to be worth more than RM2bn, pupils in one primary school, SK Puyut, near Marudi in Sarawak are forced to bathe in a nearby pond “because water supply to the area is unreliable and most days the taps are dry”.
There has been a lot of fuss over pupils being forced to eat in a shower/changing room in a school in the peninsula, but this is even worse, don’t you think?
The students reportedly suffer from rashes after using the pond water for bathing.
The Telang Usan state assembly member Dennis Ngau also found that about 30 of the 46 primary schools in his area of Sarawak did not have proper facilities for the pupils and teachers.
According to a report in the Borneo Post:
“SK Kuala Tutoh and SK Ubung Imang are unsafe as the buildings are in dilapidated conditions.”
He said most of these primary schools, including teachers’ quarters, were built by the villagers on gotong-royong basis, and in some cases the buildings they put up were no better than chicken coops.
However, Ngau noted that the secondary schools were in much better conditions than the primary schools.
The problem of poor facilities and unsafe buildings in rural schools is not confined to Telang Usan as Hulu Rajang MP Wilson Ugak Kumbong when contacted about schools in his vast remote constituency described the condition of many the schools there as ‘daif’ (pathetic).
From his visits to his constituency, Ugak estimated that about 30 schools in Hulu Rajang needed urgent upgrading.
“These schools are in dire straits. Please highlight this issue so that these schools could be upgraded soonest possible,” said Ugak.
And this is happening in the wealthiest state in the country in terms of resources and GDP per capita. Those responsible for this state of affairs should hang their heads in shame.