Schools with only one, four pupils to teach
Published on: Saturday, January 05, 2019

Sandakan: The new schooling session for 2019 started on Wednesday with one school in this district registering only four Year One pupils while another in Keningau only one pupil.SK Bongon Besar which is categorised as a coastal interior school had only 25 pupils from Year One to Six with 11 teachers.

A Year One teacher, A Masnoni Mohd Yunus, has been teaching five years at the school. She said daily challenges faced were uncertain weather conditions, with high waves during storms and they have also been stranded at sea when their boat was damaged.

Other challenges include safety factors as the area is also close to the border.

In addition, she said they had to teach the small number of pupils with no pre-school background.

The school also faced access to information problems as the internet connection speed was slow and all have to rely on rainwater for daily use.

However, the teachers said these disadvantages were not a barrier to teach.

In KENINGAU, only one Year One pupil enrolled in Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Pangas on the first day of school, which was the smallest number of new enrolment in the district this year.

District deputy education officer Haliman Narion said five more schools that recorded the lowest Year One pupils were SK Pohon Batu with six pupils, SK Mamagun (seven), SK Binanon (eight), SK Nangkawangan (eight) and SK Bonor (10).

"Lack of pupils is due to the small population, which are common in remote areas, apart from villagers migrating to other districts.

"Furthermore, most children will follow their parents who work outside the village... They go to school there," he said.

He added the District Education Office did not intend to combine classes for schools that were facing the issue of pupils' shortage because the distance between the schools was too far.

"The school will run its teaching session as usual even if there is only one pupil," he said.

Haliman also added that there were no foreign Year One pupil recorded in the district Wednesday.

"The data on foreign Year One pupil will be received after Jan 15 upon approval from the National Registration Department (JPN)," he said. - Mardinah Jikur


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