Sarawak to look at relocating flood-prone schools next, says state education minister

State Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Amar Michael Manyin said the relocation of the schools will be the next focus of the state government after the rehabilitation of dilapidated schools. — Picture by Sulok Tawie
State Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Amar Michael Manyin said the relocation of the schools will be the next focus of the state government after the rehabilitation of dilapidated schools. — Picture by Sulok Tawie

KOTA SAMARAHAN, Nov 25 — State Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Datuk Amar Michael Manyin today said 260 schools in Sarawak located along riverbanks will be moved to higher ground.

He said the relocation of the schools, which are prone to flooding during the rainy season or after heavy rain, will be the next focus of the state government after the rehabilitation of dilapidated schools.

“We will relocate these schools to higher ground because there is no point fixing them after they are hit by floods,” he told reporters after attending the opening of the inaugural International Conference on Innovative Sciences and Technologies for Research and Education at Universiti Teknologi Mara, Samarahan campus here.

Manyin said it is also a waste of money to upgrade these schools which are also categorised as dilapidated schools.

He added relocating the schools will take time because his ministry needs to identify suitable sites that must later be approved by the Land and Survey Department.

“The whole process of identifying and approving the sites will take one or two years to complete,” he added.

Manyin said the state government will channel another RM300 million to the federal Ministry of Finance as the cost of rehabilitating 55 dilapidated schools.

He said the state government had already channelled RM700 million in two tranches to the federal government under an RM1 billion agreement between the state and the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) federal government for fixing dilapidated schools in the state.

He hoped that more dilapidated schools would be fixed with the allocation under the federal Budget 2021.

He said more than half of the over 1,020 schools categorised as dilapidated have been repaired or replaced with new buildings.

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