KUCHING : Sarawak will be given priority for a bigger budget for hostel food in sports schools, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid pledged yesterday.
He said he would help the state get the allocation increased from the present RM13.90 per day per boarding student to RM29 as provided in Bukit Jalil Sports School, though he admitted that all sports schools throughout the country faced a similar problem.
“The Finance Ministry is still working on the process to recognise these sport schools as most of them are viewed as normal day schools,” he said, referring to one of the major obstacles hindering sports schools from receiving the benefits.
Mahdzir highlighted this when meeting teachers and staff of SMK Tabuan Jaya Sports School during a walkabout to the school.
“But working papers have been done and presented to the Finance Ministry to inform that these schools have achieved the sports school status,” he said.
The process to be recognised as a sports school would take some time as it is complicated, notably if the school’s facilities are insufficient or unable to meet certain requirements.
“But we will continue to work on it and emphasise the matter to the Finance Ministry including State Sports School SMK Tabuan Jaya’s request so at least there is some increase, if not RM29,” he assured.
On other issues raised by SMK Tabuan Jaya, Mahdzir said the ministry has no problem approving the urgent needs including a grant for the repair of the school bus which has broken down.
Meanwhile, SK St Martin Merdang currently operating in shophouse buildings in Uni Central in Kota Samarahan here will have its name changed to SK Merdang when it moves to a permanent location.
“The new site is not far from the existing location. The new school with 24 classrooms and other facilities will sit on a 10-acre land with cost of construction estimated below RM20 million,” he said during a walkabout to SK St Martin Merdang earlier yesterday.
“The tender will be out middle of this year and construction will follow thereafter. The new school can accommodate 1,000 students,” he added.
The shophouse buildings are rented for a three-year term and currently some 900 pupils are enrolled with the school.
Also present were Education Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Khair Mohamad Yusof, Education Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad and state Education Department director Rakayah Madon.
Source : The Borneo Post http://buff.ly/2kRhTCZ
Photo : facebook.com