TUARAN: The Sabah Education Department will strive to bridge the academic gap between schools in town and rural areas by improving facilities, said State Education director Datuk Jame Alip.
He said schools requiring upgrade currently numbered in the hundreds in the interior and on islands in the state.
“We want to develop schools in rural areas to be on par with those in cities and towns. More primary and secondary schools are being planned under the 11th Malaysia Plan,” he told reporters after officiating at a handover ceremony of six new classrooms and restrooms at SK Bawang here.
At the ceremony, SK Bawang principal Rosemary Jamari received a mock key to the new classrooms and restroom facilities from Tuaran Education Officer Tah Nia Zaman.
The classrooms and toilets were completed by a contractor on schedule within a six-month period from July 1, 2015 to Jan 13 this year at a cost of RM942,579.77.
The facilities were constructed based on the Industrial Building System (IBS) component under the Sabah Education Department programme to assist schools affected by fire and natural disasters.
Two blocks housing four classrooms, a workshop and canteen were damaged by an earthquake and mud flood that hit the school on Jan 15, 2014.
Meanwhile, Jame said he would propose to the Education Ministry for schools in remote areas with a student population of between 150 to 200 to be upgraded using the IBS to cut cost.
“The cost of repairing or upgrading schools in rural areas with IBS should cost less than RM2 million,” he said, adding that the department would request for more funds to replace or improve dilapidated schools in rural areas in