Ru­ral road to be up­graded

New Straits Times - - News -

AROAD from Pos Be­tau to Pos Len­jang in Pa­hang, built by the Ru­ral and Re­gional De­vel­op­ment Min­istry, will be up­graded un­der the ‘Jiwa Murni’ pro­gramme of the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) in July.

Orang Asli De­vel­op­ment Depart­ment (JAKOA) di­rec­tor-gen­eral Mohd Ja­mal­ludin Kasbi said last year, Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak had given the ap­proval for an al­lo­ca­tion of RM15 mil­lion to up­grade the road.

“The sec­tion of the road which is to be up­graded is about 30km long. We wel­come the ef­fort as it would pro­vide ease of travel for teach­ers work­ing at SK Len­jang and SK Titom in Kuala Lipis. It will also ben­e­fit stu­dents liv­ing around Pos Be­tau. We hope to shorten the com­mute for all,” he said.

He said the road is also used by heavy ve­hi­cles thus re­quir­ing con­stant main­te­nance.

Ja­mal­ludin said the depart­ment al­lo­cates more than RM30 mil­lion for the im­prove­ment of ed­u­ca­tion of Orang Asli stu­dents ev­ery year, from pri­mary to univer­sity level.

“For ex­am­ple, JAKOA pro­vides trans­port for sec­ondary stu­dents from Pos Len­jang to SMK Sun­gai Koyan daily,” he said yes­ter­day.

He added, JAKOA is con­cerned about Orang Asli pupils be­ing school dropouts and not com­plet­ing their stud­ies up un­til Si­jil Pe­la­jaran Malaysia level.

“JAKOA needs to work to­gether with Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry for the ben­e­fit of the stu­dents.”

He said a school­ing day for Orang Asli stu­dents was dif­fer­ent from those out­side of the ru­ral ar­eas.

“The stu­dents would get up at 5am and only be back home late in the evening,” he said.

JAKOA, said Ja­mal­ludin, would con­tinue to raise aware­ness among the Orang Asli par­ents on the im­por­tance of ed­u­ca­tion among Orang Asli pupils.

He said at present there were 94 pri­mary schools ed­u­cat­ing Orang Asli pupils na­tion­wide in ru­ral ar­eas.

Mean­while, Ja­mal­ludin also praised the teach­ers who have shown their ded­i­ca­tion in im­part­ing knowl­edge to Orang Asli pupils.

“Work­ing in schools at ru­ral ar­eas is not for the faint-hearted. Among the dif­fi­cul­ties the teach­ers face in­clude poor road con­di­tions that worsen dur­ing the rainy sea­son. Not all peo­ple have the great pas­sion to per­form a teacher’s job,” he said.

He en­cour­aged stu­dents to strive for suc­cess to re­pay the sac­ri­fices and ded­i­ca­tion of their teach­ers.

In con­junc­tion with Teacher’s Day re­cently, NST high­lighted the ded­i­ca­tion of 40-year old teacher Ah­mad Saidin Mohd Idris who trav­elled on a mo­tor­cy­cle for a 65km dis­tance from his house in Kuala Medang to SK Len­jang.

“His high spirit in car­ry­ing out his duty is very com­mend­able. The teach­ers for Orang Asli pupils have done a noble act to im­part their knowl­edge and car­ry­ing out the du­ties en­trusted to them. This is on top of car­ing for their fam­ily mem­bers,” he said. SK Len­jang has about 400 pupils. “The teach­ers’ ded­i­ca­tion can be a great mo­ti­va­tor for the stu­dents. I am also pleased that the stu­dents achieve­ment in school has im­proved from one year to an­other,” he said.

He said that JAKOA also re­cently held an Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Cer­e­mony to ac­knowl­edge 183 Orang Asli stu­dents for their achieve­ment in Ujian Pen­ca­pa­ian Seko­lah Ren­dah, Form Three As­sess­ment (PT3) and Si­jil Pe­la­jaran Malaysia.

Orang Asli vil­lagers and teach­ers work­ing to­gether to clear the Pos Be­tau to Pos Len­jang road.

Mohd Ja­mal­ludin Kasbi

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