Orang Asli Students Travel 7 Hours To Return To School Due To Poor Road Conditions

"Facing hardship to go to school is nothing new to us, Orang Asli community, due to lack of facilities compared to other communities."

Cover image via Ramli Ibrahim/Harian Metro & Astro Awani/Bernama

Students are excited to return to school after almost three months of sitting at home to observe the Movement Control Order (MCO)

Secondary schools reopened on Wednesday, 24 June, for students sitting for public examinations.

According to Bernama, 500,444 students from 2,440 secondary schools across the country returned to continue their studies for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), Sijil Vokasional Malaysia (SVM), Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM), Sijil Tinggi Agama Malaysia (STAM), and other equivalent international examinations.

Image via Bernama

While equally excited, some Orang Asli students in Kelantan had a more difficult time returning to school

According to Astro Awani, about 50 Form Five and Form Six students of the Orang Asli community in Gua Musang were brought to their school hostels by the Department of Orang Asli Development (JAKOA) by four-wheel drives.

However, they had to start their journey on Tuesday, 23 June, to beat the poor conditions of the roads back into town.

It was reported some parents had to build wooden paths to allow the vehicles to travel easier.

"They departed [on Tuesday] at 9am and arrived at 4pm at their respective schools because of the bad condition of the logging tracks due to rain," said Nenggiri assemblyman Ab Aziz Yusof when contacted by reporters.

The students then stayed in the school hostels overnight before beginning their classes on Wednesday like the other students, he said.

Even with the aid, a number of Orang Asli students still could not make it back to school on time

The state assemblyman said the rest of the students will return to school on Monday, 29 June, by also taking four-wheel drives on Sunday.

Meanwhile, one of the parents from the Orang Asli community in Pos Simpor, Ago Along, said his daughter, Anis, a 17-year-old student of Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tengku Indera Petra 1, was excited to be able to return to school.

"Although she faces challenges to get [to] her school, she is still in full spirit to study again after being stuck for three months in the village due to the implementation of MCO," he told Bernama.

"Facing hardship to go to school is nothing new to us, Orang Asli community, due to lack of facilities compared to other communities, however, I hope Anis will study hard and obtain excellent result in her studies," he said.

The Orang Asli community in Pos Simpur have to go through these muddy paths to Gua Musang.

Image via Ramli Ibrahim/Harian Metro

Recently, a student from a rural village in Sabah who climbed a tree for stable Internet sparked a discussion on the questionable digital gap in Malaysia:

In March, a teacher went viral for carrying a 40kg refrigerator to his students because there were no roads to the school:

Schools will have to abide by a strict guideline to prevent the transmission of COVID-19:

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