Suhakam CC saddened by news of students crossing damaged bridge

Suhakam CC saddened by news of students crossing damaged bridge

PETALING JAYA: The government has been asked to increase its allocations for improving children’s access to education as providing schools alone is not enough.

Asking the government to make assess to schools a priority, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) pointed out that transparent reporting on the use of the budget on this must also be available.

Suhakam Children’s Commissioner (CC), Prof Datuk Noor Aziah Mohd Awal said this today in expressing her sadness over recent news report on Jan 10 which featured several students from SK Sibuga Besar in Sandakan crossing a dilapidated suspension bridge on their first day of school.

She also commended the Sandakan Town Council and the Implementation Coordination Unit, Prime Minister’s Department, for their coordinated and swift plans to assess the bridge for repair or reconstruction and hopes that such efforts will be expedited further.

“With the announced closure of the bridge, the CC also hopes that alternative measures, such as the provision of free-of-charge boats, will be implemented to assist children in attending schools,” Aziah said in a statement.

“The CC further hopes that the Government, through Public Works Department, will continually inspect and ensure roads and bridges, infrastructure and public facilities under its purview and functions are safe, in good working condition and well-maintained at all times, as such facilities involve public and children’s lives and safety.

“Assessment and reconstruction efforts should not only be a reactive measure but must be proactive.”

Aziah pointed out that the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted children’s learning and well-being for almost two years and schools were closed during the enforcement of the Movement Control Order (MCO).

“With the reopening of schools, the CC implores for all relevant government agencies such as the Department of Education to ensure that all children, especially in rural areas are able to access education, by providing them with the necessary aids including transportation and an enabling school environment which ensures their safety and security,” she said.

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