Maszlee told of Sri Aman schools’ dilapidated boarding houses — Leon

Leon (left) hands over the letter of suggestions to Maszlee during the dinner hosted by PH Sarawak in Kuching last week.

KUCHING: The dilapidated state of boarding houses in four secondary schools in Sri Aman division has been brought to the attention of Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik.

DAP Sarawak vice-chairman Leon Jimat Donald said he informed Maszlee of the matter during a dinner hosted by Pakatan Harapan Sarawak for the minister last Thursday in conjunction with his first official visit to the state.

The four schools, he said, are SMK Simanggang, SMK St Luke, SMK Melugu and SMK Engkilili.

“They (boarding houses) need major repairs and the classrooms need major renovations as well,” said Leon when met yesterday.

He added that during the meeting, a special mention was given as well on SK Chung Hua Simanggang – a Chinese-medium primary school in Sri Aman.

According to Leon, the teacher-to-student ratio in that school is as high as 1:50 for Year 1 classes only.

“I told him to please extend a hand in helping us in Simanggang by making more classrooms as it is not only the Chinese that send their children to Chung Hua.

“Many other races such as Dayaks and Malays also send their children to Chung Hua because of the perceived higher standards in education, as well as the desire of the parents for their children to master Mandarin,” he said.

Leon, who is DAP Sri Aman branch chief, had also handed over a letter to Maszlee on suggestions to improve the national education system.

Among the suggestions were reviewing the school ranking system, retaining the teacher training institutes (IPGs) of Rajang and Miri campuses, as well as absorption of interim teachers.

“I also said to him that secondary school is the most crucial preparatory bridge to tertiary education, which will determine our children’s future.

“So we must not neglect the foundation where our country’s best minds will come from,” added Leon.