Closing Sri Aman Chapter

Hello and Goodbye

There is a saying that goes 'All good things must come to an end'. So it will be for my tour of duty in Sri Aman Division. I started off quite jittery after having spent most of my time in headquarters. The ground zero experience is a very humbling one. Being the next person after the Resident is no easy task and one has to possess the knowledge that a divisional head administrator must have. Sometimes you just have to use your gut feeling when the occasion requires it.

There were many challenging moments on record each and everyday in Sri Aman but none would be as memorable as the SK Nanga Klassen bridge story. Most of it has been documented in this blog. Education and the well being of schools has always been in my heart and as I had opened the SK Klassen story, I will also close it with the SK Klassen story.Thus it is my wish that in future, many more charitable organisations would focus on chipping in to the development of schools and education not only in Sri Aman but also the other rural areas in Sarawak.

Kuching Rotary Central President Mr. Juergen Ertl symbolically handing over bicycles and letter of intent to provide free eye screening and health screening (deworming tablets) to the Headmaster Mr. Masan @ David Renang witnessed by the District Governor Tuan Haji Zaini Abdul Aucasa with the Rotarian members and also representatives from the school. The coordinator Mr. Chieng Lee Chin is second from the right. The event was held at Riverside Hotel, Kuching.

Kuching Rotary Central has kindly agreed to select SK Nanga Klassen for its rural outreach program and this includes the giving of bicycles, free eye screening and spectacles and deworming tablets. I wish to take this opportunity to thank the Kuching Rotary Central for their kind contribution. Its member Mr. Chieng Lee Chin, who is instrumental in starting this effort has worked with me on the rural outreach program since last year and it will not be the last. In fact these contributions which bring meaning to the students in the rural areas is encouraged and I have discussed with corporations and banks on how they may chip in to motivate rural students. But with this effort in Sri Aman, so far only Kuching Rotary Central and NSTP responded positively in 2010, 2011 and this year. In 2010 the NSTP came in to assist four schools from their "The Mines Beneficiary Schools- Funds from Charity Golf with Gary Player" as described in Cikgu Charles' Dare To Dream blog.

Headmaster for SK Klassen in 2010 Mr. Sylvester Embuas receiving mock cheque from NSTP's The Mines Beneficiary Schools- Funds from Charity Golf with Gary Player on Feb 2010

Hostels are never five stars in rural schools

Furniture, cupboards are not always the IKEA standard

The kindergarden students do not mind a three legged chair

You can take a bath here if there is water and the toilets won't pass tourist standards

These students (the youngest i met is Primary Two) in Lubok Antu at SK Ulu Engkari and they stay in the hostel far away from their parents and home

The feedback I get from large corporations is that the Ministry of Education or Department of Education would have all the schools' needs in their list. Yes they have and its a long list and the priority is focused on basic infrastructures. That is where the gap is and at times the sponsors usually are not sure on how to go about in giving assistance. Hopefully more organisations may consider this form of rural outreach program in future and work closely with the Resident Office or the Divisional Education Department. Drop by and have a look for themselves if it needs be, talk with the Headmasters, students and teachers. Contributions can also be in the form of library books, computers, furnitures, mattresses (for residential school) or they can just go to the school of their choosing and identify what the school needs and how they can assist. Study tables or table lamps are the simple stuffs they may donate. I am sure the schools will oblige in providing the necessary cooperation.

Though i felt under dressed with everyone wearing coats and neckties at the Kuching Rotary Central event the t-shirt Mari Berjumpa is a new year gift from YAB Prime Minister so it was meaningful to wear it then as YAB's Department had given the SK Klassen a solid bridge to replace the fragile hanging bridge last time.

Once again i wish to express my gratitude to all those who have in one way provided their assistance. Though you may feel its a little thing but it brings significant meaning to the young students. Thank you for the lessons Sri Aman, I will miss the companionship and God Bless you all.