School maintenance works must not flout standard operating procedure


KUANTAN: Contractors carrying out school maintenance works in Pahang have been reminded to adhere to the standard operating procedure (SOP) as stipulated in their agreements. State Education Department acting director Dr Tajuddin Mohd Yunus said the private contractors hired to carry out school maintenance works including grass cutting and spraying pesticides have to always prioritise the safeth of students and the school's staff. Citing an example, he said in the contract prepared by the Education Ministry and State Education department, the respective contractor was only allowed to cut grass on weekends and school holidays. "When a certain contractor is awarded the job, the individual has to be aware of the do's and don'ts listed in the document. The school's management can reprimand the contractor if there is an alleged breach of agreement. "Contractors are not allowed to do grass cutting works during school hours as it could pose a threat to the safety of students and staff, disturb lessons in the classroom (noise) and affect the school timetable(physical education and co-curricular activities). Contractors are only allowed to spray pesticides when there are no school sessions ," he said when contacted today. Tajuddin said although the contractor was responsible to decide on the schedule to carry out grass cutting works which was usually done on a monthly basis, the school could advice if they had certain programmes. "For example, when the school plans to utilise the school field during the weekend for certain events, they will inform the respective contractor who has to postpone maintenance works to another suitable date when there are no classes at the school. "The contractor is also not allowed to conduct open burning in the school vicinity and must ensure the rubbish is thrown at a site where it will be later collected for disposal, and not pose any threat to students' safety," he said, adding the guidelines were clearly written in the contract. Yesterday, 14-year-old Nur Afini Roslan was tragically killed when a blade from a grass mower tractor struck her head. The Sekolah Menengah Tuanku Abdul Rahman student in Gemas, Negeri Sembilan, died on the spot in the 10.30am incident which happened on the school field. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd