KUCHING: The Sarawak government is still waiting for consent from the Ministry of Education (MoE) in Putrajaya to implement electricity connections to 113 schools in Sarawak.

Assistant Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research Dr Annuar Rapaee said although the ministry had replied to their letter, their consent had not been given.

He said the State Cabinet had approved RM50 million to connect these schools to the electricity grid but consent to do so must be given by the MoE since education is the federal government’s responsibility.

“Our minister wrote to the federal minister on Aug 8, and the reply only came on Oct 24 which is about two and a half months, asking whether the RM50 million is a grant to the MoE.

“It is not a grant. It’s our money that has been committed by the Sarawak government to help the 113 schools.

“We have replied their letter, and we are now waiting for them (MoE) to give us the consent to connect the electricity,” he said in reply to Gerald Rentap Jabu (PBB-Layar).

Rentap had earlier brought the attention of the august House to the problem faced by SK Nanga Lawih, which is still dependent on generator set despite being situated close to the electricity grid.

According to Dr Annuar again, SK Nanga Lawih is one of 113 schools identified for the electricity connection project.

He said the cost of connecting electricity to the school was estimated at RM233,500, which would to be implemented by Sarawak Energy Berhad once consent is given.

He also said basic needs like electricity supply had to be addressed first before other matters, such as providing e-textbooks, could be extended.

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