CUTTING ....Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Panglima Faridah Tussin and other dignitaries at the ribbon cutting ceremony of the opening of SMK Merpati building in Sandakan.
By : OLIVER MAJAHAM
SPEAKING at the official opening of the SMK Merpati new school block in Sandakan, Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman said the new school building was a dream come true for the people of the area whose children could now study in a proper and comfortable building.
SMK Merpati started in 2000, sharing the same premises with SK Merpati Primary School. The school grew despite not having its own building. From just 180 students the school has grown to be one of the largest in Sandakan with about 1,115 students and 60 teachers.
Musa said as the Chief Minister he has made it his mission to have more schools built across Sabah, especially in the rural areas. And he stressed that this could only be achieved through close cooperation between the Federal and State government.
Musa praised Prime Minister Najib Razak for recognising the need for more schools to be built in the rural areas to ensure that rural children receive proper education as well. He also commended the Prime Minister for the Malaysia Education Blueprint 2013-2025 that he launched to further raise the standard of education.
Musa also touched on the creation of the Sandakan education hub and what the hub promises for Sandakan. He said it would give the local children in Sandakan a better opportunity to further their tertiary education thus paving the way to a successful career in the future. He said with the construction of University Sabah Malaysia Sandakan campus, the setting up of College University Yayasan Sabah which have just been approved, MARA Junior Science College (MRSM) and other private institutions at the Sandakan Education hub, students need not travel far to receive higher education in the future.
Musa reminded local leaders especially the elected representatives to give their full support and cooperation to the schools by supporting the schools’ Parents Teachers association activities.
“When we are elected to represent the rakyat this is not a privilege, but a responsibility with numerous challenges and we must discharge this responsibility well. And one of the challenges is that we must ensure our children receive proper education,” he said.
Speaking at the same function, Sabah Education Director Jame Alip revealed that for the year 2011, the Federal government allocated RM180 million for schools in Sabah, not including allocation for building new schools. He said this was the biggest education allocation compared to other states in the country.
The Chief Minister also presented awards to the school’s top PMR and SPM achievers. (Insight Sabah)