Pupils on Balambangan Island get new RM5 mil hostel, courtesy of Petronas
Last Update: 18/10/2019
KUDAT, Oct 18 -- Primary school pupils of Sekolah Kebangsaan Pulau Balambangan who live in remote areas on the island which is an hour's boat ride from Kudat town on Sabah's northern coast, will soon get to stay at a newly-constructed RM5 million hostel, funded by Petronas.
The hostel which comprises separate buildings for girls and boys, with 60 beds in each building, replaces a previous facility which catered for 10 boys and 10 girls, and was in a state of disrepair.
Also featuring a dining hall, surau (place of worship) and office for the hostel administrator, the facility which was completed last month, will be handed over officially by Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal to the Education Ministry tomorrow.
The school which has 80 pupils and 11 teachers, caters for the island's population of 400 people who are mainly fisherfolk and who live in four areas, comprising Kampung Selamat, Kampung Kok Simpul, Kampung Batu Sirih and Kampung Tabunan.
According to school headmaster Salmat Abi, the hostel will be particularly beneficial for children from Kampung Kok Simpul who need to walk for an hour to school, and also for children from Kampung Batu Sirih who travel by boat for 20 minutes to get to school, as the attendance of these students dips during bad weather especially during the monsoon season.
Akmad Nulizan, 50, the village headman at Kampung Batu Sirih, who takes his daughter and other children to school by boat, believes more families will place their children at the new hostel.