Wet riser system runs dry

The Penang Education and the Fire and Rescue Departments have been urged to jointly conduct safety checks on the wet riser system at all schools in the state.

Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong said many schools in the states had malfunctioned wet riser water tanks, pipes and pumps.

“The system is vital during an emergency such as a fire but it is sad to find out that many schools have dry tanks or spoilt motor pumps,” he said after a visit to SK St Xavier yesterday.

The primary school was one of the 10 vernacular and mission schools in the Bukit Bendera parliamentary constituency that received a total of RM335,000 in aid from the state government.

The mission school had used the RM55,000 it received, to repair its wet riser tank, pumps, pipes and water hoses besides building new awnings, purchasing new tables and repainting work.

The school administrators also erected beams to support walls with cracks.

Pulau Tikus assemblyman Koay Teng Hai said the state took the safety of students as one of its concerns when it decided to allocate RM4.5mil to vernacular and mission schools in Penang.

“The allocation is historical for a lot of schools here as many had not received financial assistance for years. The various cracks in SK St Xavier were serious as we could slip our hand into them,” he said.

He also urged the Federal Government to provide financial aid for such schools.

School board member Lee Ching Kiang said: “We have fully utilised the funds we received from the state government but we still need to build at least 18 beams to support the school structure.

“The three school blocks are built with connecting corridors. The roof of the corridors are made of solid concrete.

“Over the years, cracks appeared and the gaps are getting wider and wider,” he said.

The Star

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