Over 2000 Rural Students In 13 Schools Now Grid-Connected Under Rural School Electricity Supply Initiative

KUCHING, 12TH JANUARY 2018, FRIDAY: The 2018 new academic year saw a brighter start for over 2,000 students in thirteen secondary and primary schools which were connected to the grid under Phase One of the Rural School Electricity Supply initiative, displacing diesel generators that the schools were dependent on. Eight of these schools provide boarding facilities. 

The first of the schools under Phase One of this initiative are SK Salak in Kuching; 10 schools in Kanowit namely SK Sungai Tuah, SK Nanga Jih, SK Nanga Dap, SK Ulu Bawan, SK Ng Balingiau, SK Nanga Tada, SK Nanga Pedai, SJK (C) Shing Kok, SJK (C) Nam Hua, SMK Nanga DAP; SK Metalun at the Murum Resettlement Scheme in the Belaga District and SMK Tinjar in Baram.   

With access to secure and reliable 24-hour electricity supply, the schools are installing additional fans, lightings and other electrical equipment to create a more conducive learning and working environment for students and staff. 

Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Minister for Utilities said, “Children in rural schools should have the same access to reliable 24-hour electricity like their urban counterparts. The Rural School Supply initiative aims to extend the grid or provide renewable solar systems to 369 rural schools in various phases under a partnership with the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Utilities Sarawak, State Education Department, State Public Works Department and Sarawak Energy.” 

“This RM9 million invested under Phase One is a strong and very worthwhile investment in the future prospects of our rural school-children. Subsequent phases of the initiative will cover the remaining schools in the state which still rely on noisy and expensive diesel generators,” he said.   

Sharbini Suhaili, Sarawak Energy Group Chief Executive Officer said, “It is Sarawak Energy’s aim to work with the government to provide greater access to electricity for all the rural schools in Sarawak. Through this initiative, we are aiming to create a conducive learning environment to brighten the future prospects of rural students. ” 

Apart from lighting up the rural schools, Sarawak Energy is also working with the Ministry of Health to light up 60 rural health clinics in stages. 

These initiatives are on top of the ongoing rural electrification exercise to light up rural domestic households, aiming to propel Sarawak towards achieving full electrification by 2025. 

The simultaneous implementation of these initiatives will speed up the government’s electrification plan, catalysing rural development to close the gap between rural and urban communities, and enabling the State’s digital economy agenda to reach rural communities to help realise Sarawak’s vision to become a developed state by 2030.   

Rural electrification in Malaysia began to accelerate in 2009 when it was made a National Key Result Area (NKRA) by the Federal Government.

A well-lit SMK Tinjar provides for a conducive learning environment for students

School staff are also benefiting from 24-hour supply.