KUDAT, Oct 13 2017 : Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) will build a hostel on Pulau Balambangan as one of the company’s corporate social responsibility projects to boost the quality of the pupils’ education on the island.
The two hostel blocks for male and female pupils would be built on a 2 ha site adjacent to Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Balambangan, the only school on the island which was built in the 1980s, and would also have a dining hall, surau and toilet.
Work on the hostel is expected to start in March, next year and scheduled to be completed in August the following year.
“The hostel is designed in such a manner to provide the pupils with a conducive educational surrounding. I hope the pupils will be prompted to study hard in their studies when the facility is completed,” said Petronas Group Human Resources Management senior vice president Datuk Raina Azni Abdul Rahman in conjunction with the media visit to SK Balambangan from Oct 10-12.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that the pupils of SK Balambangan went through a lot of difficulties daily to get to school as they had to either brave the waves in dangerously overloaded boat or trek for several hours through hilly terrains and jungle, hence the need for the facility.
“I leave home with my friends using torch lights at 5 am. We only wear slipper to avoid getting our shoes dirty. However, we could not avoid getting our school uniform dirty as we trekked to school,” said Haryadi Seruji, a Year Four pupil.
Haryadi, who is from Kampung Kok Simpul, one of the three villages on the island, with 500 residents, aspired to become a doctor despite not being able to go to school during the rainy season.
Sabilah Akmadi, a Year Six pupil from Kampung Siri, said it was normal for 20 pupils to fit into the boat like sardines to travel to school daily.
Sabilah, who also aspired to become a doctor, said the journey usually takes 45 minutes depending on the weather and getting soaked to the bone by sea water was quite normal when it was windy.
Meanwhile, SK Balambangan headmaster, Jeli Asangin said the school was very thankful with Petronas for the facility to help boost the level of education of the pupils at the school to be on par with urban students. – Bernama