Kudos for Fatimah from Baru

KUCHING: Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah has talked to Ba’ Kelalan assemblyman Baru Bian over his exposure of the appalling condition of boarding facilities at SMK Sundar last Monday.

This was confirmed by Baru when contacted for comments on the denial by Lawas District Education Department office that students in the secondary school were given rotten and stained mattresses and also old and torn textbooks.

The assemblyman added that from his conversation with Fatimah, who is in charge of education in the state, it was clear she did not doubt his claim of the appalling condition of the boarding facilities and the insufficient and torn textbooks given to the students.

“I am appreciative of the fact that Fatimah has taken the matter seriously,” he said.

Meanwhile, the father of a SMK Sundar student contacted The Borneo Post yesterday to confirm that the boarders had to sleep on old dirty mattresses with holes.

Nelson Palong, 46,whose son is in Form One this year, added it was also true that his son had to scramble with other students for textbooks, besides having to sleep on old, stained and torn mattress.

“When the textbooks were brought to the hall, the students had to scramble for the texbooks to the extent that the textbooks were torn. My friend Patrick Bina’s child could not get the textbooks.

“When I brought my son to the school, I saw the mattresses there were all torn with holes, smelly and stained. They are unhygienic and unusable for the students,” he lamented.

Nelson said after seeing the appalling conditions of the school, he could not help shedding tears, thinking of what his son had to go through.

“I cried after seeing all these. I still feel sad up until today after sending my son to school last weekend, thinking that my son has to sleep in such as poor condition, while I can sleep comfortably at home.”

Nelson added that the exposure has nothing to do with Baru wanting to gain political mileage or casting aspersions on the BN government.

What he did was to voice out the plight of the people which was his duty as an elected representative.

Meanwhile, another pupil’s mother who declined to be named, said her son, who had left school, went through the whole of last year without textbooks and had to share his friend’s book.

“I have another son in Form One now who is also suffering the same fate as the school doesn’t have enough textbooks.”

She also related that parents who accompanied their children to the school’s boarding house often brought hammer and nails to repair the cupboards as they were not properly maintained by the school. - Borneo Post

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