PUTRAJAYA (Bernama) – The government will ensure that students in about 300 schools that were affected by the floods could begin their schooling session according to schedule, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
While hoping for efforts to repair the affected schools could be speeded up, temporary measures were also being considered that is to place the students in schools nearby if the affected schools could still not be used when the new schooling session started, he said.
“If (sharing) for one or two months it’s okay, but not for one year,” said Muhyiddin, who is also the Education Minister, in his speech when sending off the Education Ministry’s Post-Flood Volunteers’ Mission at the ministry yesterday.
The schooling session for the year 2015 was postponed for one week due to the floods.
The new schooling session for the states of Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and Johor starts on Jan 11 while for the other states the new date is Jan 12.
Muhyiddin said students who did not have school uniforms which could have been spoilt by the floods would be given exemption to wear normal attire to school.
He said the task to repair the schools was critical because the new schooling session was getting closer.
He said he had instructed the ministry’s secretary-general to simplify the process of awarding contracts for the repair of schools and supply of equipment so that the schooling session could begin earlier.
“According to preliminary calculation, almost 300 schools were damaged, they need to be repaired including equipment which must be replaced…this must be speeded up,” he said.
Regarding the damages suffered by the schools, he said preliminary calculations found they could reach RM350 million, but it could go up to RM500 million when the full estimation was was made.
Regarding the objectives of the ministry’s volunteers, Muhyiddin said the main mission of the group, which was also assisted by the Yayasan Sukarelawan Siswa (YSS) or the Undergraduate Volunteer Foundation, was to clean the schools and their surrounding areas.
“So these volunteers have a challenging task because they must clean the schools before the new schooling session starts,” he said, adding that as a symbol, 120 volunteers who were sent off today would carry out cleaning works at the Sekolah Kebangsaan Gua Musang, Kelantan.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that in order for the mission to achieve its objective, the Education Ministry would also mobilise 50,000 volunteers to all the schools that were affected by the floods.
Also present were Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh and the two secretaries-general of the ministry, Tan Sri Dr Madinah Mohamad and Prof Datuk Dr Zaini Ujang.