Education officials to meet Penang govt on schools affected by proposed highway project

Education Minister Maszlee Malik says tis ministry will meet the Penang government for a discussion on schools that will be affected by the planned construction of the Pan Island Link 1. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Education Minister Maszlee Malik says tis ministry will meet the Penang government for a discussion on schools that will be affected by the planned construction of the Pan Island Link 1. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

GEORGE TOWN, May 17 ― The Education Ministry will organise a meeting with the Penang government for a discussion on schools that will be affected by the planned construction of the Pan Island Link 1 (PIL1).

Its minister Maszlee Malik said federal officials will discuss the issue with the state government and the state Education Department.

“Let us look into it and discuss with the state government and state Education Department first,” he said when asked about the mitigation steps taken for schools that will be affected by PIL1.

Maszlee was visiting SJKT Sungai Ara this morning and the school is one of those that will be affected by PIL1.

The proposed 19.5km highway, which will form a second north-south spine road for the island, is expected to affect several schools along its route.

The RM7 billion highway, supposedly to improve traffic congestion on Penang island, will consist of 7.6km of viaduct sections, four tunnel sections totalling 10.1km in length and embankment sections totalling 1.8km.

PIL1, which links Gurney Drive to Bayan Lepas, will have six interchanges linking all major hubs.

It will integrate with the north coastal paired road, Gurney Drive paired road, Air Itam and Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway Bypass, first and second Penang bridge, proposed third link and Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway.

Works on the project is expected to start on July 2020 and is expected to complete by June 2026.

It is part of the massive RM46 billion Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP) project.

Earlier, Maszlee announced an allocation of RM20,000 to SJKT Sungai Ara to cover its maintenance costs.

Maszlee also announced an additional RM4,000 worth of books contribution from the Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka for the school’s library.

He praised the school’s performance and said it could set a good example as a school that instilled values such as happiness, love and respect of each other in its education system.

“This school used the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for its focus and implemented various environmental programmes for a fun learning experience for its pupils,” he said.

He hoped other schools will emulate SJKT Sungai Ara’s system to create conducive and fun learning experiences for students.

“This school also frequently organise events with the school next to it, Sekolah Agama Sungai Ara, and this should be encouraged,” he said.

He said schools of different streams, such as vernacular schools and religious schools, should work together to organise joint events so that students get to learn more from different school systems.