Rural road to be upgraded
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