PEKAN: THE 92-year-old SMK Ahmad here had a lively spruce up on Saturday when volunteers from all walks of life came for a gotong-royong and bonding session.

The participants, comprising teachers, students, parents and top officials from the Education Ministry in the state and Putrajaya, painted buildings, planted trees and repaired some of the school's wooden structures to ensure that lessons could be carried out in a conducive environment.

Deputy Education director-general (teaching professionalism development) Dr Zainal Aalam Hassan painting a classroom wall during The Education Ministry Top Management Gotong-Royong Programme in SMK Ahmad, Pekan, on Saturday. Pic by Muhd Asyraf Sawal

The Education Ministry Top Management Gotong-Royong Programme (Program Gotong-Royong Pengurusan Tertinggi Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia) was organised in conjunction with the ministry's education tour at the Sultan Ahmad Shah Convention Hall in Kuantan, which ended yesterday.

Deputy Education director-general (teaching professionalism development) Dr Zainal Aalam Hassan launched the programme before touring several projects around the school, including an art exhibition and learning aid demonstrations. 

Earlier, Zainal Aalam brought good news to the staff and students when he announced that the ministry had allocated RM20,000 for the school to carry out maintenance work.

“The amount may be small, but it will help the school management to improve the environment so that students will be comfortable during lessons. 

Students and teachers of SMK Ahmad planting greens during the gotong-royong.

“The school parent-teacher association, along with the community, can also look forward to more initiatives to secure funds for the school.”

He said the programme aimed to foster a close relationship between ministry officials and the local community.

“It allows senior officers and staff to go to the ground to see the condition of schools that required maintenance or immediate repairs.”

SMK Ahmad principal Hasimah Abdul Ghaffar said the RM20,000 allocation would be used to equip classrooms for 21st-century learning and repair the school building.

“Twenty-first-century classrooms have LCD screens and modern teaching equipment. The school is 92 years old and it has to be improved to catch up with the times.”

On the education tour, Zainal said it had received overwhelming response with more than 100,000 visitors in 10 locations nationwide. 

He said the tour was in line with the National Transformation 2050 (TN50) plan, where the government should meet the people to create a closer bond.

“This is the approach adopted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the ministry is always open to views from the people in preparing the younger generation to face challenges in the 21st century.

(Above) Visitors at the Education Ministry’s education tour at the Sultan Ahmad Shah Convention Hall in Kuantan on Saturday. (Below) A pupil putting the finishing touches to her artwork in a colouring contest.

“Pahang is the 11th state of the tour, which ends in Penang next month. During these two days, the people of Pekan can get first-hand information on government transformation programmes in the education sector,” he said.

Many activities were organised throughout the tour, such as science, cupcake decorating and singing competitions, which were participated by parents and students from nursery to secondary school.

Yesterday, top teachers and students were invited to share their achievements, followed by a kompang, Indian drum and live band performances by secondary school students.

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