BELURAN (July 17): The Ministry of Education (MoE) is serious in implementing the legalisation or ownership transfer of school land from state governments to the Lands and Mines Director-General Department (JKPTG) to ease future planning of school infrastructure.
Senior Education Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Radzi Jidin said the main factors that cause efforts to upgrade schools, especially with dilapidated buildings, to be stymied were related to the status of the school land.
"There are instances where the school site is still not owned by JKPTG. So new construction efforts to replace the dilapidated buildings cannot be implemented.
"We are doing it seriously, discussing with the state governments so that the legalisation can be done quickly,” he told reporters after attending the Beluran district-level Teachers’ Day celebrations here on Sunday (July 17).
Mohd Radzi also informed that since he became the Senior Education Minister, the amount of school land that was successfully legalised had risen.
He said Sabah and Sarawak were among states that had school land with unresolved ownership issues but did not state the amount involved, adding that schools in Felda settlements were among the areas involved.
In conjunction with his two-day working visit to Beluran, Mohd Radzi also announced an additional allocation of RM1 million to the Beluran Education Office to resolve outstanding issues that required immediate solutions to enable students in the district to study in a more conducive and comfortable environment.
He also asked all district education officers to conduct school visits more frequently to identify the problems there and to take immediate action to resolve it.
Agriculture and Food Industry Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee, who is also Beluran MP, said at the same event that the development process of basic facilities, including schools, in rural areas was a long process.
"I’m confident that if rural students are given the opportunity for a comprehensive education, they will have the potential of doing well in life,” he added.