Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

Maximus: Speed Up Upgrading Of Rural Schools To Prevent Mishaps

KOTA MARUDU (May 6, 2014): Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkili has urged for the upgrading of facilities in rural schools under the education transformation programme to be sped up in light of the latest fire incident at SK Simpangan in Kota Marudu Monday night.

Dr Maximus, who is also Kota Marudu MP, said that most rural schools in Sabah were still using wooden buildings of more than 25 years old and hence required heavy maintenance, with most being fire hazards.

“I urge the Education Department and Public Works Department to do immediate building checks on the rural schools especially with regard to fire and safety issues and physical safety audit,” he said after inspecting the damages at SK Simpangan which was built in the 1970s.

The fire occurred late Monday night. It razed the school’s administration block and four classrooms, and destroyed school files, student records, equipments and computers.

Dr Maximus was accompanied by district education officer Jidin Janaun, assistant district officer (administration) Mat Lunad Agok and school headmistress Effie Jane Vung during the visit.

He assured support for the school and that he would immediately bring the matter to the  attention of Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Education Minister.

Dr Maximus also extended assistance to the school including temporary mobile structures for shelter and class activities if required, as well as computers for teaching use.

In July 2012, a fire at SK Panaitan in Kota Marudu destroyed the administration block, two classrooms, a counselling room and two water tanks. Construction of the three blocks razed by the fire in SK Panaitan is almost completed with RM840,000 allocation provided by the Education Ministry and facilitated by the Kota Marudu MP.