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Ex-students of Sabah’s first fully residential school want it rebuilt

Fauziah (second left) pointing at a cracked pillar at the school building

14th February, 2017

By ERIC BAGANG Eric@newsabahtimes.com.my

KOTA KINABALU: Former students of Sabah Science Secondary School (SMESH) (formerly known as Sabah Fully Residential School or SBPS) want the school to be rebuilt on its original site at Bukit Padang here.

Kelab Alumni Sekolah Berasrama Penuh Sabah / Sekolah Menengah Sains Sabah (CLASS) president Datin Fauziah Abu Bakar Titingan said that the school has been temporarily relocated to the Kent Teachers Training College old campus in Tuaran, after the school buildings in Bukit Padang were declared unsafe following structural failure.

“The Education Ministry decided to relocate the school in 2015 for safety reason, and we thank the ministry for that. “The ministry had also told us that the relocation is a temporary measure as the original buildings will be demolished and rebuilt within five years.

“But after almost two years, and a series of site visits by the ministry officials, we have not seen any progress on the matter.

“So we are worried that the school cannot be rebuilt within the promised five-year period,” she said when met during the club’s visit to the school’s original site on Sunday.

Fauziah said while they are not doubting the Education Ministry and other relevant agencies’ sincerity in dealing with the issue, she wants the ministry though the Sabah Education Department to inform the club on the school’s progress.

According to her, SBPS/SMESH is the first fully residential school to be established in Sabah, and has been producing thousands of excellent students which contributed immensely to the state’s human capital development.

Therefore, she said that rebuilding the school on its original site is imperative for continuous excellence.

“If MCKK, STAR, and STF are the icons of education in the Peninsula, SBPS/SMESH is our icon in Sabah. These iconic schools are well taken care of by the government.

“Rebuilding the school is very important as a landmark of education success and the government’s continuous concern in uplifting the education sector in Sabah,” she added.

Meanwhile, SMESH Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) chairman Sany Abdillah Ahmad said that the Kent Teachers Training College’s old campus in Tuaran is not conducive to learning activity.

He said that the students have to share the facilities with the college’s trainees and this is interfering the teaching and learning session.

“Due to the insufficient hostel rooms in Kent’s old campus, SMESH had to stop taking Form Four students from other schools since last year. This is depriving the potential students the opportunity to study at a science school.

“Parents have also been complaining about the lack of rule in Kent as students are free to go out anytime of the week, whereas in normal fully residential schools, they are only allowed to go out on weekdays.

“Parents have also been facing difficulty whenever they want to visit their children. The students are from all over the state, so some parents who had to fly to Kota Kinabalu, had to travel to Tuaran, and it is time consuming.

“So it should be rebuilt in the original site, as Kota Kinabalu is the centre where everyone from other districts can come easily,” he said.

On related a issue, Fauziah said that the club will be sending a memorandum to the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman, Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, Sabah Education Exco Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun and Sabah Education director Datuk Maimunah Suhaibul soon asking them to look into the matter.

Also present were some 40 club members comprising former students from its first batch to the recent school leavers.

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